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2019.05.31 09:04

Skvernelis stays as PM under new coalition agreement, LSDDP to nominate Seimas speaker

Saulius Jakučionis, BNS2019.05.31 09:04

Saulius Skvernelis will remain Lithuania's prime minister under the coalition memorandum signed by the leaders of three political parties in Lithuania, and the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (LSDDP) will nominate a new parliament speaker.

“It’s been agreed that Saulius Skvernelis remains prime minister, and the position of the Seimas speaker belongs to the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania,” Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, told BNS on Thursday.

Viktoras Pranckietis, representing the same party, is currently the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament. He said earlier on Thursday that he was not going to give up the position.

Karbauskis says Pranckietis “is acting inadequately”, arguing about his chances of staying in the position.

“Every self-respecting politician has to realize that he is not appointed forever but he is appointed until the coalition agreement is in force, and he represents the ruling majority,” the politician said.

The Farmers and Greens leader says Pranckietis is “ridiculous to anyone who has at least some knowledge of politics”.

“If he thinks that he'll be able to stay in this position, let's imagine how that will look like. (…) He will definitely not represent the ruling majority. It will be a Seimas speaker who represents himself,” Karbauskis said.

Pranckietis on Thursday expressed his surprise at why the Seimas speaker's position was included into the coalition talks, saying that “it's a statutory position elected by the Seimas”, and it might be discussed during the start of the parliament's work.

The speaker also cited the Statute of the Seimas, which states that the speaker is elected for a term of four years and might be dismissed only in specific cases.

BNS was not able to contact the Seimas speaker or his spokeswoman on Thursday.

Karbauskis says the agreement on the positions of prime minister and Seimas speaker is part of the ruling coalition memorandum signed on Thursday. In his words, Skvernelis plans to introduce President-elect Gitanas Nausėda to the memorandum on Friday, and if he approves the principles of the ruling majority, Skvernelis will stay on as prime minister.

Skvernelis said earlier in the day he would meet with Valdemar Tomaševski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance, on Friday to discuss his party joining the future coalition. Tomaševski, meanwhile, said his party was in no hurry to join the coalition talks.

Social Democrtaic Labour Party leader Gediminas Kirkilas told journalists after the meeting his party wanted three ministerial positions in the government, most importantly, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.

The Order and Justice party would like to get two ministerial positions, its leader Remigijus Žemaitaitis said.

Karbauskis says agreements on the position of prime minister and Seimas speaker have been reached, and the ministerial positions and the parliamentary committees will be divided during later negotiation stages.

A coalition of the Farmers and Greens, the Social Democratic Labour Party, the Order and Justice party and the Electoral Action of Poles would have 77 seats in the 141-seat Seimas.