The largest opposition fractions – the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) and the Liberal Movement did not support the “Peasant” candidate for the seat of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.
Saulius Skvernelis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“Saulius Skvernelis will unfortunately not be receiving support from this side of the chamber,” TS-LKD leader Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Tuesday during a discussion on the PM candidacy.
He stated that the priorities outlined by the candidate to head of cabinet were correct, but it is unclear whether they will be accomplished.

“We did not hear a single word on how those tasks and priorities will be implemented. We expect more of a future PM,” said Landsbergis.

He expressed concern that Skvernelis’ cabinet would follow example of the Social Democrat Algirdas Butkevičius’ cabinet where there were numerous good ideas and a number of laudable goals outlined, but few actual tasks were accomplished.

The leader of the Seimas Liberals Eugenijus Gentvilas also praised S. Skvernelis for solid handling of problems and presenting a good impression, but he also found the number of proposed solutions lacking.

The Liberal politician also announced that the Liberals will not support Skvernelis’ candidacy until they receive a promise of taxes not being raised.

“The Liberals cannot vote for the PM candidate if there are plans of raising taxes. We have not received an unambiguous response. We wish for S. Skvernelis to guarantee that taxes will not increase,” said Gentvilas.

Meanwhile coalition partner Social Democrats and the Polish Electoral Action in Lithuania – Christian Families Union promised support for the candidacy. The opposition Order and Justice fraction intends to leave voting free.

“We have many points of contact, the candidate spoke about a cabinet programme that looks to be the best alternative to the actions of the previous cabinet. We could see that first and foremost there is a focus on turning to the individual, making family policy a priority,” spoke Polish Electoral Action in Lithuania – Christian Families Union prefect Rita Tamašunienė.

The leader of the Order and Justice fraction in Seimas Remigijus Žemaitaitis has said that his fraction viewed the “Peasant” government’s turn to the regions positively and promises to delegate professionals into various posts.

The head of the Peasant and Greens Union fraction Ramūnas Karbauskis noted that the unwillingness to support Skvernelis’ candidacy shows a fear of positive change and a destructive frame of mind.

“The future PM is not backed by parties that only wish to ensure their party members’ welfare, have no interest groups which can expect direct or indirect benefits,” he said.

R. Karbauskis assured that the cabinet will not have any party quotas imposed for deputy ministers, subordinate institutions will be expected to work effectively and the number of officials will be reduced.

“No party ticket will protect any state official, who is unable to adequately perform their duties,” accented Karbauskis.

The Prime Minister is assigned by the president under support of Seimas. Parliamentarians vote openly, candidacies usually only need a simple majority to pass.

The PM then has to, with presidential agreement, present a cabinet to Seimas within 15 days and present a programme.

The cabinet is bequeathed authority when the majority of members of Seimas in the hearing approve its programme.

Former head of police and former Minister of Interior S. Skvernelis was the frontrunner in the electoral roll of the LPGU, winners of this year’s Seimas elections.

The “Peasant” fraction contains 59 politicians. They have formed a coalition government with the Social Democrats, who have 19 in Seimas.

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