News2019.05.31 12:14

Standoff between ruling party leader and Seimas speaker triggers talks of early election

If the current speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, refuses to give up the post, as per new coalition agreement, it could lead to a crisis and early general elections, the ruling party's leader has said.

“If there is no change in the position of the speaker of the Seimas, the coalition agreement will be invalid,” Ramūnas Karbauskis told BNS.

“If is not in force, Saulius Skvernelis, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's candidate for prime minister, will not be able to form the (next) government. That means we are headed for a situation where an extraordinary election is imminent,” he said.

The ruling coalition had broken up earlier this week, but a new agreement was reached the following day among the the Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDDP) and the Order and Justice party.

According to the memorandum signed on Thursday, the LSDDP is to take over the top parliamentary post.

However, Viktoras Pranckietis, the current speaker and member of the LVŽS, had said he would not give up the post.

Karbauskis said his party would consider expelling Pranckietis “if his actions ruin the coalition”.

Pranckietis has said that the demand for him to step down is Karbauskis' personal initiative rather than the parliament's position.

The speaker has also accused Karbauskis of authoritarian rule, calling on him to resign as the Farmers and Greens' leader.

Meanwhile, Karbauskis accused Pranckietis of “trying to provoke a crisis in the state”, describing the speaker's statements as “desperate” and not reflecting the party's opinion.

The LVŽS leader hinted that Gediminas Kirkilas, the LSDDP leader, might take over as the speaker of the Seimas.

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

Read more: Lithuanian parliament speaker refuses to give up post under new coalition agreement

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme

Newest, Most read