Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Vigilijus Jukna submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius on Wednesday.
Vigilijus Jukna
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The Agriculture Ministry said that Jukna, a member of the Labor Party, decided to step down for family reasons.

Evelina Butkutė-Lazdauskienė, an advisor to the prime minister, could not say to BNS if Butkevičius had accepted the minister's resignation.

Jukna said last week that he would consider leaving his post if any concrete criticism had been voiced regarding a lack of transparency in the ministry's activities. He added that he had not heard any such criticism from President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

The president said after meeting with the agriculture minister that it was the Agriculture Ministry that was having most problems regarding transparency of its activities.

Minister of health: Jukna must have had his reasons

Minister of Health Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis says he is surprised by the resignation of his colleague, Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna. The social democrat claims he is unaware of his reasons for doing so, but believes they must have been serious.

Andriukaitis speculated that the move might have been coordinated with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, although there could be millions of options or conspiracy theories.

After Jukna's resignation, the Labour Party presidium has announced it has six candidates to the position.

The candidates are: members of parliament Virginija Baltraitienė, Vydas Gedvilas, Artūras Paulauskas and Ričardas Sargūnas, Mayor of Švenčionys District Vytautas Vigelis and Director of Alytus District Administration Aurimas Truncė.

"We have a list of six strong candidates. Based on their competence, working and political experience, they are perfectly suited for the position. The candidate will be selected on Saturday, at the party's council, and will be proposed for the approval of the prime minister," said Chair of the Labour Party Loreta Graužinienė.

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