Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Monday that he saw no reason for Social Democratic Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevičius to step down, despite the Social Democratic Party's decision to withdraw from the ruling coalition.
Mindaugas Sinkevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"I see no objective reasons why the minister should resign from the government," he told reporters.

Skvernelis said that he had five days to decide on Sinkevičius' resignation and would try to persuade the minister to change his mind.

"Certainly, I won't (keep him) by force, but I believe that the trust he has both from the prime minister and from the community he works with is very important for the minister and that he will obey my request and my wish that he should continue working," he said.

If Sinkevicius stands firm on his decision to resign, Skvernelis said that he would ask the minister to stay in his post at least until the end of the parliament's fall session.

The economy minister decided to step down after the Council of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) voted to terminate the coalition agreement with the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU). The other two ministers nominated by the LSDP -- Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and Justice Minister Milda Vainiutė -- said they would stay on.

The political groups of the LFGU and the LSDP in the Seimas announced on Monday that they had established a new, parliamentary coalition.

Ministers in Lithuania are appointed and dismissed by the president on the prime minister's recommendation.

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