It is good practice that Lithuanian politicians who have done something wrong are forced out of their ministerial posts, according to political scientist Lauras Bielinis.
Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

“There is a misguided belief that if there is a frequent change of ministers, this is already a problem. By believing this, there could be an implication that perhaps you should hide what is going, and not take action. However, even if there are 20 changes of minister it has to be done this way. This is normal. The opposition is working correctly – it instantly pushes those out who are doing something wrong,” said Bielinis.

The comments come after Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said he would accept the resignation of Health Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė after she spoke about bribing a doctor.

“People responsible for government should be an example. The minister‘s expression did not meet that standard,” said Julius Sabatauskas, the head of the Social Democratic Party transparency group, commenting on Šalaševičiūtė’s resignation.

However, Sabatauskas said Šalaševičiūtė still had the Social Democrat party’s support as a parliamentarian and a candidate in a single member constituency.

“The area is very sensitive, there are many interest groups, they are struggling for influence, often the ministers themselves get involved. We cannot find people who are principled, capable of following their own vision and not being influenced by anyone,” said Agnė Bilotaitė, a member of Parliamentary Anti-corruption Commission.

“Lithuania needs these solutions, we have the funding, but money itself is used inefficiently and non-transparently - no one dares to make a normal reform,” she said.

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