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Government re-shuffle on the way in Lithuania

President Nauseda meets leaders of the new Governmental coallition

By Angele Kedaitiene. Last Friday, one’s new President Gitanas Nauseda took office, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has submitted Governmental resignation to the President, as foreseen by the Lithuanian constitution, who shall re-appoint the Government.

Gitanas Nauseda has announced already that he has submitted candidature of Saulius Skvernelis as the Prime Minister to the Lithuanian parliament for approval.

On Thursday, Skvernelis has answered the questions from lawmakers, with a vote on his reappointment planned for the next Tuesday.

The Prime Minister and the President will also have to agree on a reshuffled Government. According to Skvernelis, more than one minister will be replaced, which means that the parliament will have to vote not only on his reappointment, but also on the government program. According to law, if at least two ministers change in the new government, another parliamentary vote on the new government’s program shall be held. Now in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union has 12 out of 14 ministerial portfolios, and another two belong to the Social Democratic Labor Party of Lithuania.

Four political parties – the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party, the Order and Justice and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance – signed a new coalition agreement several weeks ago. Under the new deal, the Farmers and Greens’ coalition partners are to be given five ministerial portfolios in the new Cabinet.

On Friday, President Gitanas Nauseda has met with the political leaders of the new coalition, to discuss the appointment of the ministers, who, ones nominated by the Prime Minister shall be approved by the President and then by the parliament. Gitanas Nauseda said that he is satisfied with the work of three ministers, the finance minister Sapoka, the economics minister Sinkevicius and the defence minister Karoblis. Foreign minister Linkevicius will also be re-appointed, but personalities of other ministers are discussable. Recent Government has any female minister, thus, taking gender equality into account, the new Government shall  also have the female in its Cabinet.

President Nauseda has stressed the necessity to keep up with the stability of the Government, since the new parliamentary elections are just a little more than year away. He also said that for him not that political party, but the professional work of the minister, his or her reputation and ability to cope with the tasks, are of the outmost importance.

Regarding new Governmental program, Saulius Skvernelis has mentioned that it plans to introduce new taxation, in particular on the pollution from the cars and on the  real estate. The cars tax would work for fighting the climate change.

Furthermore, on Friday Prime Minister Skvenelis has ones again mentioned that Lithuania will seek for the important portfolio of the new EU Commissioner, in area of energy, economics or protection of the external borders. According to scheduler, member state shall send candidature of the Commissioner along with CV no later than 26 August. Lithuanian media report on long list of the candidates, to be picked up by the Government with agreement of the President and approved by the parliament.

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