KOD leader says he will not quit over donations row
PR dla Zagranicy
The leader of Poland’s anti-government Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) has said he will not quit after admitting donations to the movement were used to pay his company for IT services.
KOD leader Mateusz Kijowski. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
His comments came after the Onet website reported that public collections for the Committee - a focal point of opposition to Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party - had gone to a company owned by KOD leader Mateusz Kijowski and his wife.
Onet reported that the IT company, MKM Studio, received over PLN 91,000 (EUR 20,800).
'Lack of experience'
Kijowski denied wrongdoing. He said in a statement: “Perhaps there was a lack of experience and prudence of my part, but I assure you that there is no dishonesty involved in this matter.”
He added: “It was probably a mistake to combine the roles of leader and service provider for KOD.”
The management board of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy told reporters on Thursday that it had ordered an audit of expenditures.
The Committee has led a series of street protests against what it claims is the erosion of democracy and rights under the PiS government.
Law and Justice, which came to power in late 2015, rejects such charges, arguing that it won a mandate for sweeping reforms that have upset vested interests.
The Rzeczpospolita daily noted that Kijowski had earlier said he did not receive a salary for his activities in KOD.
KOD deputy leader Radomir Szumełda was quoted by the paper as saying: “I admit that my confidence in Mateusz Kijowski has been shaken.”
Senior politicians from the governing Law and Justice party criticised Kijowski while the opposition demanded a clearer explanation.
Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said: "Not long ago, Kijowski said he lives on money from his family. It turns out that this is not true.”
Grzegorz Schetyna, leader of the opposition Civic Platform (PO), said the finances of social movements should be transparent.
Ryszard Petru, head of the opposition Nowoczesna (Modern) party, said Kijowski should explain in detail what the invoices issued by his company were for and who knew about them. (pk)