Changes looming? Social Democrats lash out against their own minister

Milda Vainiutė
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Having had Milda Vainiutė appointed Minister of Justice, the Lithuanian Social Democrat Party (LSDP) appear to have started regretting the decision.

TV3 News has announced about the party’s representatives criticising her, with even mentions of an important discussion in September, which will likely be deciding in M. Vainiutė’s future in the post.

Delfi reminds that the Social Democrats had a fairly lengthy list of candidates for the post of Minister of Justice. Officially four individuals were proposed, but a part did not suit Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, others – the representatives of the Lithuanian Farmer and Greens Union.

Criticism for both mistakes and political inexperience

SocDem leader Gintautas Paluckas commented to TV3 that “She is doing all the classical mistakes.” Paluckas also explained he can see political inexperience from the minister, apparently with her changing her opinion on non-Lithuanian surname writing over just a day and supporting the Farmer and Greens variant rather than the Social Democrat proposal.

According to the SocDems, M. Vainiutė is also struggling with dealing with the institutions subordinate to her ministry, taking too long with appointing leaders.

“We are saying outright that we expect firmer decisions in resolving the problems she is causing and which have accumulated over a long time. This is questions of Centre of Registers work quality, problems in the Prison Department, surname writing and a myriad of other questions that are of political content,” G. Paluckas stated.

An important conversation in September

The SocDems state they are waiting for the minister to get better, promise to provide aid and value changes.

“A minister is a politician. They have to explain questions and problems raised in public discourse. I believe that in September we will have a certain talk conversation after all, whether she can make the breakthrough as an individual and understand that a minister’s work is far more complex,” stated Algirdas Butkevičius.

Meanwhile G. Paluckas assured that M. Vainiutė certainly knows that the political organisation which delegated her is her backing and support.

“If she lost this support, it would simply be lack of political confidence and she definitely would not have the opportunity to realise the really good reforms she has begun,” the Social Democrat leader explained.

M. Vainiutė has few words

Meanwhile M. Vaniutė had few words to say to TV3 News. She was uninclined to muse why the SocDems are up in arms regarding her, neither being inclined to evaluate her work.

“I believe that my work should be evaluated by others,” was her brief comment.

To remind, the minister halted the appointment of Social Democrat backed Arvydas Bagdonavičius’ appointment as the director of the Centre of Registers. The SocDems are angered that now the massive institution which oversees vast amounts of funds will now be leaderless for a year.

S. Skvernelis accuses Social Democrats of pressuring

Meanwhile PM Skvernelis told TV3 News that M. Vainiutė is experiencing political pressure due to her employment of responsible officers in the system she oversees.

He accuses the Social Democrats of pressuring the minister.

“Who is up in arms, he is acting. Those who want it to continue that positions which open up would go to fellow party members,” the PM stated.

According to Skvernelis, ministers should primarily be competent and just people, not those who adhere to the party line.

“Speaking of the Centre of Registers, I well understand what political pressure the minister continues to experience, with attempts to employ fellows,” he stated.

The Prime Minister stated that he would not sacrifice the minister in return for good relations with the Social Democrats if they continue to complain. The posts of minister are decided by the Prime Minister and President.

He also praised the minister’s work with evaluating the work of the head of the Prison Department, stating that the minister is “trying to free the system from nepotism and party affiliations.”

Claiming support just a few days earlier

Just on Wednesday Social Democrat Party leader Gintautas Paluckas stated that he and his deputies support the minister.

“I personally spoke with the minister, she asked me, how to act, what to do politically, I stated directly that if you act within the bounds of the law and justly, we will always support you. There is and will be no political pressure from either me, the management or the deputies,” G. Paluckas stated to BNS on Wednesday.

According to him, party management intend to meet with the minister in a few weeks to discuss the situation regarding the head of the Centre of Registers. The minister halted the appointment of Arvydas Bagdonavičius who had assured himself the place, which, according to Paluckas, will lead to “the institution being without a leader for almost a year.”

G. Paluckas also questions why the Social Democrat delegated minister changed her opinion on the writing of surnames in documents, first supporting the Social Democrat, but later the “Farmer” proposals. “How does this happen, who is pressuring who?” the party leader said.

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