A fight without any rules: Karbauskis’ unpopularity is raising Pranckietis’ ratings

Ramūnas Karbauskis
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The fight between Ramūnas Karbauskis and Speaker of the Parliament Viktoras Pranckietis is constantly taking new shapes. Both the “Farmers” in the Parliament and the Farmer party council are pushing V. Pranckietis out of his post, but he is still holding on to his position.

This position is reinforced by ethical guards of the Farmer and Greens party and their conclusion that he does not violate anything by disobeying the party council’s requests. According to political scientists, V. Pranckietis’ popularity is growing in leaps and bounds because his fight with Karbauskis impresses both politicians and society, Jūratė Važgauskaitė writes in TV3.lt news portal.

Pranckietis’ position and the “Farmer” leader’s inability to control the situation is creating tension not only for R. Karbauskis and his faithful squire Agnė Širinskienė, but also shows the party’s tendencies. According to political scientists, uproar is emerging in the party and a split is possible, while the upcoming autumn election will soon show what the actual “Farmer” situation is. Autocracy and the need to do things in his own way is harming R. Karbauskis, and his unpopularity is raising ratings for the opposing politicians.

The fight is heating up

Marius Ulozas, a political scientist from the Institute for Policy Research and Analysis, says that politicians are reacting emotionally and personally to things that are happening. Moreover, everybody sees when R. Karbauskis is unhappy.

“He has done many talks and promises to win all the elections and nothing is working the way he wishes. The emerging feeling is that he is trying to direct his energy somewhere, and since V. Pranckietis does not want to move, there is no benefit in moving him… it is only a matter of principle,” says the political science specialist, adding that R. Karbauskis is trying to prove that he is still capable of doing something.

The party’s ethics watchdogs decided that V. Pranckietis did not violate anything – this was a morally pleasant decision for the parliamentary speaker.

“I still think that he (V. Pranckietis) will leave the party. If the party splits, there is a big possibility that part of the ”Farmers”, together with V. Pranckietis and Saulius Skvernelis, will establish a new political formation. Alternatively, he will go to another party. I think that there are parties that are interested in this politician,” said M. Ulozas, adding that the fight with R. Karbauskis made Pranckietis a political figure in Lithuania.

What is more, according to the political scientist, V. Pranckietis does not have a lot of potential or ambitions to become a new political star, but since Lithuania likes the abused, from a long-term perspective, he might become interesting.

“People start liking his integrity and that he does not comply with being pushed around. He is defending his position quite strongly and feels righteous. Now everything is only personal, because neither Gediminas Kirkilas, nor others really need this position, so this is a personal matter for R. Karbauskis and V. Pranckietis,” said M. Ulozas.

According to political scientists, V. Pranckietis does not have anything to lose; he is in the highest possible position and feels the party’s moods.

“Many are dissatisfied with personal relationships in the party. If he is moved, the question is how – would he go proudly and with his head up, or retreat, give up and show that he was wrong and weak. I think he will stick it out till the end,” says M. Ulozas.

M. Ulozas is sure that more and more people in the party are losing their patience and tensions are rising. There is no more space for serious decisions and party members are embarrassed by the things that are happening.

Ethics watchdogs know more

Political scientist Rima Urbonaitė says that V. Pranckietis and R. Karbauskis’ personal fights overshadow more important things that are happening in the country. While talking about their politics, we are not talking about all the delayed work in the ministries and that it is unclear how the new parliament will manage its own assignments.

“Apparently, R. Karbauskis wants to talk about the fact that the attention is drawn away from more important questions. It is a pathetic situation,” said R. Urbonaitė.

According to her, the position of speaker of the parliament is not influential or significant in Lithuanian politics, so the fight for it is more personal than political. Thus, it has already been happening for a while, she said.

However, the fact that the ethics watchdogs justified the actions of V. Pranckietis might also mean that they know the situation in the party better than is publicly claimed. According to the political scientist, we do not know what the party’s opinion on V. Pranckietis is; we know only the decision of the council, which does not necessarily indicate the whole party’s views.

R. Urbonaitė is intrigued not only by the battles over the speaker of the parliament, but also other signs that show there is a crisis in the party, which could develop into a serious misunderstanding during the period of upcoming elections.

The leaders of the party, according to the political science specialist, should worry about the current situation and either sit down and talk, or expect even worse scenarios to emerge.

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