Controversy around extreme-right member of Polish government

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A new member of Poland’s right-wing government has appealed on Facebook for public support amid a political storm over his previous far-right and anti-West statements.

The controversial appointment of Adam Andruszkiewicz as deputy minister for digital affairs comes at the start of a year of elections that will be crucial for the future of Poland’s ruling conservative party.

Observers say that by appointing lawmaker Andruszkiewicz, a former leader of the extreme-right All-Poland Youth organization, the ruling party wants to widen its voter base and neutralize right-wing competition.

Critics say his past statements against the U.S. troops’ presence in Poland, and against migrants and gays, should bar him from government posts.

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State officials argue his views have evolved, while his social media activity qualifies him for the job.

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