The opposition MPs of the Social Democratic Party will not back the nomination of Virginijus Sinkevičius, Lithuania's economy minister, for European commissioner.
The party's leader added that there would be enough votes to confirm Sinkevičius even without the social democrats' support.
“It seems the majority is sufficient, and the majority will vote in favour. We will not vote for Virginijus Sinkevičius' nomination. As I have said, we see stronger candidates both on the left and on the right,” Gintautas Paluckas told the Žinių Radijas radio on Friday.
Sinkevičius was proposed for the position by his party, the ruling Farmers and Greens Union.
Paluckas believes that his own party could propose “considerably politically stronger” candidates, including Rasa Budbergytė, who led the Finance Ministry of six months in 2016, and also MEP and former Social Security and Labour Minister Vilija Blinkevičiūtė.
Sinkevičius will be subjected to a serious test during the hearings of the European Parliament committees in the autumn, Paluckas said.
Earlier this week, the Lithuanian government and President Gitanas Nausėda endorsed Sinkevičius as the country's nominee for the European Commission, with the Seimas' approval still pending.
Sinkevičius has led the Ministry of Economy Innovation since 2017.