2019.11.20 16:00

Transport minister under fire for ‘chaotic performance’

Jūratė Damulytė, BNS 2019.11.20 16:00

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has criticised Jaroslav Narkevič's performance as transport and communications minister, adding that he expects the prime minister to take a “principled” stand on the matter.

“[My opinion is] negative. I think the minister has started his work in a chaotic way,” the president told LRT TV on Tuesday.

“I do hope he'll manage to get the situation under control in the near future, because otherwise adequate decisions will have to be made,” he added.

Nausėda criticized Narkevič's decision to fire the management board of Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post) amid a row with the company's management, saying it could be difficult to appoint a new board in such circumstances.

“My position is this: until we have resolved the chaos in this area, let's not start doing anything on other boards that are subordinate to the Transport Ministry,” he said.

According to the president, Narkevič must think carefully “what his vision is, if he has any”.

“We've discussed this with the prime minister today, and I expect a principled assessment from the prime minister,” he added.

The Chief Official Ethics Commission is also considering whether to probe Narkevič's alleged clash of interests. The media have reported that the Lithuanian Road Administration and the Klaipėda Port Authority paid for the minister's dinner in the United Arab Emirates and in Minsk last month.

Narkevič says he has reimbursed the state-owned enterprises for the dinner and has ordered a review of the rules for the ministry's representation expenses.

The minister has also come under criticism for directing funds for road construction in his electoral constituency.

Narkevič was nominated for the post of transport minister by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance which joined the government coalition following last summer's presidential election.