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2019.07.17 09:30

Women in Lithuania's new cabinet ‘matter of negotiations’, president says

BNS2019.07.17 09:30

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda plans to discuss the government formation with representatives of the ruling parties later this week. He said he wanted to see women represented in the new cabinet, but suggested it would not be his top priority.

The president said he discussed “certain candidates” with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis earlier this week, without naming them.

“Perhaps as early as this week. I would like to meet with all the political groups in the coalition and to discuss the principles, to find out their opinion, [...] and then move to specific candidates,” the president told journalists in Warsaw on Tuesday night.

Asked by BNS whether he would raise the issue of women ministers in the future government, the president said: “I would really want that, but, you know, to avoid a situation when the whole government collapses because of that woman, let's hope it won't happen.”

“I would have specific proposals regarding a woman in certain ministerial positions. Whether those women will become ministers eventually, I cannot say that as it’s a matter for negotiation,” Nausėda said.

After Nausėda was inaugurated as president las week, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and his cabinet, which corrently does not include a single woman minister, handed in ‘courtesy resignation’ and now serve as acting government. Skvernelis will have to test confidence in him in the parliament. If he wins the vote, he will have to compose a new cabinet in consultation with the president who will have to endorse it with a decree.

Read more: Game of Posts – Lithuanian government reshuffle to test Nausėda's leadership

If at least two ministers are replaced in the new government, another parliamentary vote on the new government's program will have to be held.

In the current acting government, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union has 12 out of 14 ministerial portfolios, with another two filled by the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania.

Under the new coalition agreement, three coalition partners of the Farmers and Greens Union will get five ministries.

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