Lithuanian National Defence Minister Juozas Olekas remains in place after the country's parliament on Tuesday accepted his interpellation answers regarding the search and rescue operation for a plane that crashed in the Baltic Sea in the middle of May.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

71 lawmakers voted for accepting the minister's answers, 31 were against and nine Seimas members abstained.

Olekas was not present at the vote as he's meeting the visiting Norwegian defence minister at the Lithuanian Air Force Air Base in the northern city of Siauliai.

Responding to the interpellation last Thursday, Olekas did not admit to have made any mistakes during the search and rescue operation for the An-2 plane that crashed in the Baltic Sea in the middle of May, and had no plans to resign. The minister said then he did not believe he should assume personal responsibility for and resign.

Under the Statute of the Seimas, upon receipt of an interpellation, a member of the government must, not later than within two weeks, submit a written response to the speaker of the Seimas, which is later deliberated by the Seimas, followed by a draft resolution of the Seimas' approval or disapproval of the minister's response next day.

In the case that the minister's response is recognized as inadequate and no-confidence in the individual minister is declared in a draft resolution of the Seimas, the draft may be adopted by a majority of votes of more than a half of all the Members of the Seimas cast by secret ballot.

If such resolution is adopted, individual minister in whom no-confidence has been declared must resign.

The An-2 with two highly experienced pilots went missing on May 16 en route from the Swedish port of Gothenburg to the Lithuanian port city of Klaipėda. Three days later, it was discovered on the Baltic seafloor. An examination two days later revealed a body of one of the pilots inside the aircraft, which was subsequently recovered. The body of the second pilot has not been found so far.

BNS
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