Irena Šiaulienė ir Gintautas Paluckas
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Beginning from the election of the chairman of the social democrat party many questions were raised pertaining to the fact that Gintautas Paluckas not being a Member of Parliament. However, the before mentioned fact about the politician appears to be gaining traction once more. The issue was once again brought front and centre several days ago by Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis who stated that the Social Democrats would find things much simpler if given the opportunity the politician would seek a Parliamentary mandate. However, while the party chairman himself has repeatedly expressed no interest in the matter, no statement to reject such a proposal has been issued, TV3.lt reported.

Furthermore, as the possibility of a free Parliamentary seat opening up appears to be quite possible if after the impeachment of Mindaugas Bastys, the Social Democrat will be stripped way of a Parliamentary mandate. Moreover, other members of the social democrat fraction agree that things would be much simpler if the party's chairman would work and join them in the Parliament.

The chairman of the social democrat party G. Paluckas, currently occupying the position of vice-mayor of Vilnius, has repeatedly stated that he is aware of what benefits the party more politically. Moreover, when asked about his plans regarding the candidacy to the Parliament if such an opportunity would present itself, the chairman stated that it is not his but rather the party's choice in regards to the following matter.

"It is very interesting that outsiders seem to understand and know what is of convenient for Social Democrats and what is not. We will decide for ourselves, who will nominated to candidate if the end of M. Bastys impeachment processes would require us to do so. We will decide, who and how will be nominated to run for the candidacy. I sometimes feel stronger and empowered when I am not a Member of Parliament but rather a person observing from the outside. Since I can maintain a stronger position without the fear of causing friction as is that is normal for political processes. Furthermore, when you are already part of the political machine and need to sit around a single table, you begin to avoid other political abrasions. We will decide for ourselves who and how" – the chairman of the social democrat party assured.

The chairman further notes that since becoming the leader of the party, there have been no problems with the party fraction working in the Parliament.

"The fraction is not going behind anyone's back. In the fraction we have an agreement that allows us to establish good cooperation, although there have been several misgiving instances. But I can whole heartedly state that so far the fraction has not seen any problems" – stated G. Paluckas.

Since M. Bastys attained a parliamentary seat by winning the Zanavykai single-member constituency's election to the Parliament, G. Paluckas states that he does not see many opportunities to achieve the post there.

"It is easier for me to bike across the river to the municipality. Furthermore, as the road to the Parliament is long not even biking through Šakiai will get me there. Thus, going through a single-member constituency with whose representatives I have nothing in common is a little strange. However, the party's will must and will be done." Stated G. Paluckas without ruling out the possibility.

The Parliament would welcome the political group leader

According to, social democrat and current the deputy speaker in the Parliament Irena Šiaulienė stated that while the fraction is working quite well, the chairman of the party would not bring any hindrance in the Parliament.

"Although, work is going well, it would be healthy to have the party chairman (in Parliament, author added) as it would change the whole tone of the political process. The participation itself would be a little different. We would certainly agree to him becoming a Member of Parliament. Although, currently he is working on a municipality level, he also participates in fraction meetings. Than he would be a fully functioning person, if he were to join us. It is one thing to observe the processes, but another to participate in them. For example lets imagine the difference between the observing the work of a journalist and one working the job themselves. These are two separate things." – stated Irena Šiaulienė

"There is no trend to do something behind the chairman's back. We are constantly negotiating amongst ourselves about common strategies, principles and voting. He already participates in these meetings, as he is not banned from them. However, to have him in the Parliament would make things easier, as he would become a fully-fledged participant" – she stated.

Another member of the social democrat party Juozas Olekas also states that while currently work is going on smoothly, everyone would be happy if he would work in the Parliament.

"We are doing good work as a fraction. The chairman of the party is with us, we have joint meetings with him and he participates in them. While we always find a way to make it work. However, he will always be welcome and everyone will be happy together" – stated J. Olekas to the tv3.lt news portal.

The boots of the chairman are still rubbing together

According, to Rima Urbonaitė a lecturer at Mykolas Riomeris University the most important question pertains to the authority of the party's chairman.

"Of course the situation when you are not a member of the Parliament, is not the same as walking in and out of fractions. He would have more possibilities to understand what is going on, and also a far better opportunity to communicate with the same party members that are in the Parliament. While on one hand it is obvious that this would provide more opportunities, on the other hand opportunities do not come with a chair in the Parliament but rather with how much authority the politician commands" – stated the political scientist R. Urbonaitė.

The political scientist further notes that it appears that the shoes of the party's chairman are not particularly comfortable to G. Paluckas.

"It is needed to ask of him if he was the chairman that managed to win the election. If he is the chairman whose name not only raises awareness but also commands authority. It would seem that G. while Paluckas is only warming his legs in the new shoes. The new shoes themselves are rubbing the skin a little. It would seem that it is not that easy to image and even harder to earn the authority itself. Because so far it seems that senior party member's see him was a youngling that has just been given a chance" – the political scientist accessed.

Furthermore, when asked about the possibility of party's chairman obtaining a Parliamentary mandate in the constituency of M. Bastys the political scientist stated that losing the election and not obtaining a seat in the Parliament would be a heavy blow to survive.

"However, if the election took place, then the question would be whether or not he should try a hand at the matter. Then again, we need to remember that this would take place in Šakiai, where M. Bastys is from. In single-member constituencies this is an important factor. Which would not bode well for him, as G. Paluckas would appear to the voters as is haven fallen from the sky, unseen and unknown to the voters. Than very strong support for him would be needed, as his failure would deal a great blow. Ultimately, he must evaluate the risk. For now, his lose as the chairman of the social democrat party would not go unnoticed" – shared R. Urbonaitė.

The Commission will reach a decision by the of June 1

As impeachment charges for the member of the Social Democratic political group Mindaugas Bastys was initiated by the State Security Department for alleged ties with Yevgenii Kostin, the representative of the Nuclear Energy Corporation "Rosatom", former KGB officer Piotr Voyeika, as well as Ernerstas Mackevičius a journalist for the Russian state run television channel RTR and a former member of the Kaunas mafia Saturnas Dubininkas including Vladim Pahomov a businessman suspected to have engaged in illegal activities.

The Parliament has approved the conclusions of investigation of the National Security and Defence Committee pertaining to the ties of M. Bastys which stated that the parliamentarian had acted against the best interests of the Lithuanian state, as well as the fact that his tis with specified individuals listed in the material provided by the State Security Department which posed a threat to national security.

The findings give grounds for the beginning of impeachment proceedings regarding M. Bastys relations with Russia and persons working in the interests of the opposing state. Thus, the commission must approve the results before the 1st of June.

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