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2020.01.14 09:52

After losing majority, Lithuania's ruling bloc to decide on next steps

BNS2020.01.14 09:52

The council of Lithuania's three-party government coalition is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the performance of Transport and Communications Minister Jaroslav Narkevič and decide on the future of the ruling bloc. 

The council will address the issue from "a much broader" perspective, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters on the eve of the meeting.

"We want the minister to give a report on the work he has done, and [we will look at] how justified the criticism is, and, finally, decide on the political agenda: the [parliamentary] majority and cooperation," he said.

Read more: Seimas group collapses, leaving Lithuania's ruling coalition without majority

Narkevič was nominated for the post by the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance after it joined the government following the cabinet reshuffle last summer.

In late November, President Gitanas Nausėda said he no longer had confidence in the transport minister and called on him to resign.

The coalition's council is expected to make a final decision on Tuesday on whether Narkevič should stay in his post.

Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Farmers and Greens Union, the biggest party in the parliament, previously told BNS that he sees no reason for Narkevič to step down and ruled out a collapse of the government coalition.

Read more: Former president Grybauskaitė weighs in on transport minister controversy: ‘tragicomic’

According to Karbauskis, the ruling bloc will also look at "who is intentionally misleading" Nausėda.

The president said last week that Narkevič had arranged for at least 20 people close to his party to be employed at companies controlled by his ministry.

Read more: Lithuanian transport minister rejects president's criticism: he is ‘misled’

During the six months as the transport minister, Narkevič has been criticized for sacking the management board of the state postal company Lietuvos Paštas (Lithuanian Post), his behavior during his visit to the UAE, for allocating funds to pave a street in his constituency leading to the PM's home, and other issues.

The minister dismisses the criticism and says he is the target of "an organised attack".