Gintautas Paluckas, Algirdas Butkevičius
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Algirdas Butkevičius, Juozas Olekas and Andrius Palionis should compete for the post of the leader of Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP). This was confirmed by the chairman of the party Gintautas Paluckas, who said that he’s confident in all the candidates and leaves the right to choose for the party members. However, when speaking to LRT.lt he talked positively about the candidacy of the former party leader A. Butkevičiaus.

After electing the new LSDP leader the Social Democrats are looking who could become the leader of the group in the Parliament. The spot became vacant after Irena Šiaulienė was approved to become the Assistant of the leader of the Parliament.

As G. Paluckas once said to LRT.lt, the party Presidium is the one who discusses the candidates according to the statute of the party. This should happen on Thursday evening and later the Presidium will propose a candidate and the group members will have a secret voting.

"We invite all members of the group who feel that they’re capable and willing to be a candidate. The group will be voting next week because all members of the group have to participate in order to prevent any insinuations" encouraged G. Paluckas.

The Social democrat leader confirmed to LRT.lt that at the moment it’s down to three candidates: A. Butkevičius, J. Olekas and A. Palionis.

"A. Butkevičius: based on experience, status and competence. J. Olekas, who right now is still an assistant of I. Šiaulienė, and there’s also A. Palionis. So there are three names. Everyone has the right to be a candidate if they have the desire and believe that they can do it" said G. Paluckas.

Just a week ago the former Social Democratic chairman A. Butkevičius won’t participate in elections for the group leader. A. Butkevičius said that he believes that the heads group has to be suggested by the new leader. At the time, G. Paluckas thinks that A. Butkevičius candidacy will be discussed.

"Of course, A. Butkevičių may be suggested and elected, this is the will of the presidium. Of course, if someone refuses, no one will suggest him against his will. But as far as I heard, Algirdas didn’t refuse. He spoke in general that he doesn’t want to participate in various distributions and political intrigue, post-election affairs.

To avoid this, we do everything in a transparent and democratic manner, according to the Statute, so there wouldn’t be any accusations and speculations that one or the other is being forced" explained G. Paluckas.

In his words, A. Butkevičius has a lot of competence and knows the operating principles of the Government and the Parliament. "He knows all the projects that began under his Government and what stage they are in this one. He has a lot of advantages but all emotional things have calmed down" said G. Paluckas.

Chairman of LSDP didn’t reveal which candidate he supports and who he is going to support. According to G. Paluckas, all three are competent: "I trust all of them and there are no negative. All three are strong, experienced members of the group, not in their first term in the Parliament. Each has proved their qualities at work. So everything will depend on the general opinion of the party, what king of policy they want to shape" continued G. Paluckas.

A. Palionis, according to G. Paluckas may have less experience, he’s only in his second term in the Parliament and he’s busier; but his habits aren’t formed: "It’s possible to look at the work of the group and to organize it because it will depend on the constructive working relationship with the coalition partners. [...] Less experience sometimes can become an advantage."

LRT.lt asked whether G. Paluckas could support J. Olekas, who was one of the main “golden forks" history heroes and G. Paluckas has talked about a radical renewal of the party, he said that everything has already been evaluated by voters.

"Renewal in the party was achieved. If you look at the governing bodies of the political party you will definitely see that there was a change. A political group is formed not by the party but by the voters: they have evaluated everything and if members of the group show confidence in Juozas then I can work with him. I don’t have some personal things or prejudices but my statements remain: the priorities are on the leftism agenda and bigger speed" explained G. Paluckas.

According to the Social Democratic Party leader, we have to acknowledge that some projects were a mistake in the last coalition Government and the Social Democratic position was not maintained so everything should be explained to the public and we should fix it.

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