Appointing police chief as interior minister is unusual and hasty, political scientist says

Algis Krupavičius
Algis Krupavičius A.Koroliovo nuotr.

Krupavičius, director of Kaunas University of Technology‘s Public Policy and Administration Institute, spoke after President Dalia Grybauskaitė appointed Police Commissioner General Saulius Skvernelis as interior minister.

“Interior ministers who are former statutory officers are a rare thing,” Krupavičius told BNS.

The political expert noted that statutory officers used to be appointed to such posts in early years of Lithuania’s independence, and the last former police officer who headed the Interior Ministry was Česlovas Blažys who served in 1999-2000.

“In democratic countries, posts of interior minister or defence minister are usually held by politicians. This was the practice in Lithuania, as well. As a rule, politicians are neutral, more objective. In this case, an officer serving in the interior system is coming to the ministerial post, he has professional skills in one area of the Interior Ministry’s operations but does not necessarily understand other fields of operations in the same way, for instance, public administration, which is just as important as law-enforcement issues,” said the political scientist.

Krupavičius said he was surprised by the hasty appointment of the minister.

“I was somewhat astonished by the president’s rush to appoint the minister because it seems to me that the president has not had a chance to have a more in-depth conversation with the candidate, as the candidate is currently abroad. The head-of-state should give herself time for a meeting with the candidate. In this case, the hastiness is groundless,” he concluded.

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