Having entered Seimas under the banner of the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LPGU), human rights activist Dovilė Šakalienė mentioned she has received offers to join a different party. A number of fractions would like to have her in their fold.
Saulius Skvernelis ir Dovilė Šakalienė
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

“I received support from a number of fractions. I am thankful and value it greatly. That said I do not believe there is more reason to discuss it further,” she told Delfi.

The politician did not deny that one of the parties offering her to join was the Liberal Movement.
“I can best see myself among people who are fair and seeking change. Which fraction, I will still have to see. Really, I am just a rookie in Seimas,” Šakalienė answered when asked if she could imagine herself in the Liberal’s ranks.

After voting – R. Karbauskis discussion with D. Šakalienė

After abstaining in the vote to appoint Saulius Skvernelis as Prime Minister, D. Šakalienė was spotted being led to the side by Ramūnas Karbauskis. As was revealed later, they spoke together for around half an hour at the party chairman’s office.

“Actually, I asked for that talk, I did so even before the vote regarding Saulius, bet we only had time to talk afterward. I did so keeping in mind all the processes happening in Seimas in the past few weeks, with various decisions on candidacies being made. I was left questioning whether competence and professionalism or experience in parliament and loyalty matter more,” the politician identified the purpose of the discussion.

She explained she was not reprimanded during the talk, describing it as very constructive.

Identified pertinent questions

According to D. Šakalienė when chairmen and deputy chairmen were being appointed for committees and commissions, it became clear that the criteria for choosing varied.

“I was left wondering, whether truly we need competence and knowledge in order to truly implement our programme. Whether we are actually going in the right direction,” D. Šakalienė listed the issues she brought up to R. Karbauskis.

She reminded that she wrote up the majority of the LPGU social politics programme and did not conceal her concern with the future of these plans.

“I cannot work as a minister because my physical capacities do not permit it. But then an interesting question arises – are those changes truly going to be implemented? And I completely understand that there are certain things that can be classified as political games, political fluctuations. That’s normal, no problem, I do not understand that area, but I want answers. While I did not receive them, it was not done prior to voting, my duty as a member of Seimas is to vote based on my conscience and act on the information I have available to the best of my ability,” explained Šakalienė.

Promised support from the fraction

After the talk with R. Karbauskis the politician explained she received answers on the issues that concerned her, thus if voting happened right now, she would vote for S. Skvernelis being appointed PM.

“Ramūnas guaranteed that the first question immediately will be amending the Children’s Rights Protection Law and instead of the completely idiotic one, the one made by me and some private individuals will be proposed,” she outlined future plans.

According to D. Šakalienė, the LPGU party chairman promised her that the question will be resolved quickly, the fraction will definitely support it and work actively.

“Now I feel calmer about it. On the other hand that is what those 100 days are for, not just for journalists, but for us ourselves. To see how the fractions work, whether you can work with them effectively, to see the result, which was agreed upon prior to the elections. I take electoral pledges seriously – if we promised change, it has to happen and there isn’t much time for it,” she stressed.

Will seek reform by all possible means

D. Šakalienė notes that she is currently unsure if the goals she has will be possible to achieve with the Peasant and Greens Union.

“I believe that Ramūnas‘ statements, as the party leader and fraction prefect, should hold weight. He promised me, that all of these social issues that I care about really will be resolved, we agreed and I am now watching as it is implemented,” she explained.

When asked if she already considered what to do if the promises aren’t upheld, D. Šakalienė noted she is not naïve and has no illusions that everything will “follow one line”.

“I have a specific goal, I want these reforms to be done and I will seek it by any means necessary,” she assured.

Work in Seimas – such an incredible waste of time

D. Šakalienė explains she is not shelving the idea of joining a different fraction eventually.
“What I see in Seimas right now, much is very odd to me. I think that it would be for any normal person. I’ll have to wait and see how things develop. I do not want to make any rash decisions and for now I have a promise that change will happen. Thus I can only brace myself and get to work. If I see that the promises are not being upheld, there will be other decisions,” the politician explained.
She found it odd how the Seimas sessions proceed, where masses of people speak up on questions that are already clear, demand various pauses when they really aren’t necessary, attempt not to discuss and find solutions, but lash out at one another.

“Such an incredible waste of time,” Šakalienė evaluated work in Seimas, adding that while a vote for S. Skvernelis becoming PM was held in Seimas, another child died in Lithuania because neither assistance to families, nor children’s rights protection systems are working.

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