Lithuania's Prime Minister-Designate Saulius Skvernelis will propose Milda Vainiutė for the country's new justice minister.
Milda Vainiutė
© Asmeninio archyvo nuotr.

"After a meeting, I have made up my mind to propose her, and the president of republic will later have her say and make a decision," Skvernelis told journalists after meeting with Vainiutė at the parliament on Thursday.

"My impression is very good. She is a business-like person who is educated and knows the issues, she is capable of conducting the tasks stipulated in the government's program," said the PM-designate.

Vainiutė, law professor who is affiliated with any political party, said she had received the proposal from the ruling Social Democratic Party's leader, outgoing Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, to join the new government last Friday and had agreed on Wednesday.

"It is a very serious job, I had major thoughts," said the nominee.

Vainiute said she was familiar with the problems in the sector and the issues she would have to address, noting that speaking about challenges and possible tasks was still too early.

On Wednesday, the Social Democratic Party's presidium decided to propose Vainiutė for justice minister.

Vainiute is professor at the Mykolas Romeris University who has served as legal adviser to President Valdas Adamkus and as adviser at the President's Office during the first term of President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

In Lithuania, ministers are appointed by the president in response to proposition from the prime minister.

Julius Pagojus, a Social Democrat, was appointed justice minister last week, but he stepped down amid criticism over last year's incident in which he was caught by the police drunk-driving.

The Social Democrats had initially proposed Darius Petrošius for justice minister, but the former parliamentarian withdrew his candidacy after his suitability for the post was publicly questioned due to his family's alleged links with Arunas Pukelis, a controversial businessman in Tauragė, a town in western Lithuania.

The LSDP then decided to propose Julius Sabatauskas, chairman of the parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs, for justice minister, but the Peasants and Greens did not back the 58-year-old Social Democrat for the post, saying that they "want people from the new, younger generation who are not related to certain politicking" in the new coalition government.

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