News2019.06.03 16:30

Lithuanian president-elect, ruling party leader discuss coalition talks

Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), said his meeting with President-elect Gitanas Nausėda on Monday focused on stability in the state and ongoing government coalition talks. 

"We spoke about stability and about the importance of the coalition talks being successful and a stable coalition majority being formed in the Seimas," Karbauskis told reporters at the Presidential Palace.

"What is at stake is whether the government is stable and whether we will be able to fulfill our commitments to people," he added.  

Last week, the Farmers and Greens signed a coalition memorandum with the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDDP) and the Order and Justice. The parties have also invited the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS) to join the coalition. 

With the LLRA-KŠS planning to make its decision on Friday, Karbauskis admitted that they will not be able to reach a final coalition deal by the end of the week, as planned earlier.  

He added, however, that the process of forming the ruling majority is to be completed by the July 12 presidential inauguration. Saulius Skvernelis is expected to say if he is staying on as prime minister by that day, too. 

Under the memorandum, Skvernelis is to keep his job, but the post of the speaker of the Seimas should go to the LSDDP. However, Viktoras Pranckietis refused to resign from the top parliamentary post. 

Karbauskis said the ruling bloc is yet to decide on when to initiate the parliamentary procedure of removing Pranckietis from the post. 

When asked if Nausėda supports a coalition among the parties, the LVŽS leader said, "A coalition is formed in the Seimas, and the question is not whether or not it is supported. It just forms. In this case, a coalition majority in the Seimas and the government is being created. We have to give this message to the president." 

Before the launch of the new talks, the LVŽS had a coalition agreement with the LSDDP and a cooperation agreement with the Order and Justice's political group in the parliament. 

Karbauskis said the three-party coalition would muster 71 votes in the 141-seat Seimas even if the Electoral Action of Poles party (LLRA-KŠS) opted not to join it. The three parties have only 69 votes, including that of Pranckietis, but several non-attached parliamentarians often support the bloc's initiatives. 

Later on Monday, Nausėda was to meet with Gabrielius Landsbergis, the leader of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), the largest opposition party with 34 seats. 

The president-elect promised to comment on his meetings in more detail on Tuesday. 

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