Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Tuesday signed a decree, accepting the resignation of Education and Science Minister Dainius Pavalkis.
Dainius Pavalkis
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

He is to be dismissed as of 11 May.

According to the Presidential Office, Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis will be acting education and science minister as of 12 May until a new minister is appointed.

Pavalkis decided to step down after the Labour Party he represents accused him of failure to implement the party and the government's agendas and decided to recall him.

On Monday, the president criticized Pavalkis' resignation story, calling it "a very nasty political example when the minister was forced to turn in his resignation by various ugly methods, which even resemble those used by the underworld – the ruling majority, including the prime minister, were blackmailed".

Under the Lithuanian Constitution, ministers are appointed and dismissed by the president upon the nomination of the prime minister.

Jovita Neliupšienė, presidential advisor, told the radio Žinių Radijas that methods by which Pavalkis was forced to resign did not meet the standards of democracy. She said that Grybauskaitė would choose the new minister from several candidates taking into account their professionalism and absence of criminal suspicions.

On Tuesday evening the Labour Party's Presidium will meet to decide who should become Pavalkis' successor. The Labour Party had accused former minister Pavalkis of failing to fulfil the election programme and demanded he stepped down. Meanwhile Pavalkis said he had faced pressure from the Labour Party as regards the education policy and was asked to appoint certain people to work at the Ministry of Education and Science.

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