The Board of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania decided on Monday to nominate Juras Požela, 33, for the position of healthcare minister, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, Social Democratic leader, told journalists after the meeting.
Juras Požėla
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The final decision will be made by the party's presidium in a week.

"Today we agreed on one candidate who will be submitted to the presidium. It's Požela," the prime minister said.

Butkevičius rejected criticism that Požela was too young for the post, praising his knowledge of the healthcare system.

"Požela meets several criteria. First of all, he's a member of the Seimas Health Committee, and is very interested in drafted bills and is well-acquainted with the ongoing reform in the healthcare system. The second aspect is that he's already familiar with how the Ministry of Healthcare is using the European support and will not be new to this area and won’t say 'I'm halting all projects as I want to get better acquainted'," the prime minister said.

The position of healthcare minister is vacant since Social Democrat Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė resigned thus month. Finance Minister Rimantas Šadžius is now acting healthcare minister.

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