The Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LPGU) and the Social Democratic Party (LSDP) agreed on Monday to start working on a coalition government programme.
Negotiations on coalition government programme
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"We agreed to start working on a joint program based on the LPGU's Sustainable Lithuania programme. We have a week for this. We have until Monday to finish that work. I hope that we will finish it and will then continue our talks," LPGU Chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis told reporters after the first meeting of the two parties' negotiating teams.

Outgoing Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, the LSDP chairman, said that they had agreed not to speak about the distribution of ministerial seats and possible candidates until a joint program had been worked out.

He also confirmed that his party was not seeking the post of the Seimas speaker.

Saulius Skvernelis, the leader of the LPGU election campaign, said that the parties agree on key priorities for the coalition government.

"We have the same key priorities, namely: the demographic challenge, emigration, and the reduction of poverty and social exclusion. These are the key issues on which we have a consensus," he said.

Karbauskis said that when it comes to values, the parties' representatives in the Seimas will vote according to their beliefs and will not seek compromise.

"We don't think we need to change our attitudes to such issues as partnerships, etc. and we will vote on these issues according to our attitudes. We really don't think we need to seek compromise in matters where compromise is simply impossible," he said.

The Peasants and Greens last week invited the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats to hold coalition talks as well, but the conservatives said that they would not take part in any coalition talks while the LPGU would be negotiating with the Social Democrats.

However, the conservatives said that they would remain open to proposals to negotiate with the LPGU if the latter failed to reach a deal with the Social Democrats.

The Peasants and Greens won 56 seats in the 141-member Seimas in recent parliamentary elections. The Homeland Union came in second with 31 and the Social Democratic Party, the largest party in the outgoing parliament, ended up third with 17 seats.

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