ELECTIONS 2016. Economics. Laučius: SocDems and Conservatives had the strongest showing

Vladimiras Laučius
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

On the evening of September 13 a political debate featuring the top five largest Lithuanian parties was broadcast on LRT Television. The topic of the debate – economics. The debating parties were the Lithuanian Social Democrat Party (LSDP), Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LVŽS), the Labour Party (DP) and the Liberal Movement (LS). LRT.lt interviewed a number of political, economics, business, law and public relations experts and asked them to rate party performance from 1 to 5.

Chief Editor for LRT.lt Vladimiras Laučius saw the LSDP and TS-LKD as having the strongest performances in the economics debate, with the DP having the weakest showing.

Both the Social Democrats and the Conservatives earned 4 points each from Laučius, both still having room for improvement. For TS-LKD and its chairman Landsbergis, the editor noted a somewhat weak and overly aggressive start where Landsbergis continued to verbally batter the LSDP, but then a far more solid later part of the debate where he spoke more thoughtfully and consistently. Even if Landsbergis continued to occasionally sting the Social Democrats, it flowed more naturally and no longer overwhelmed the main content of the questions discussed. Meanwhile the LSDP‘s Butkevičius had a surprising response to questions on social happiness by stressing the importance of investment, innovation and technology to an individual’s bearing. Curiously the PM presented the finalization of the LNG terminal as an exclusive LSDP achievement, which is not exactly the case and thus leaves the Social Democrats with 4 points.

According to Laučius, Eugenijus Gentvilas of the Liberal Movement spoke confidently on the major economic issues that Lithuania is faced with. The Liberals only end up with 3 points, however, with Gentvilas failing to recognise in his speech the simple reason the three largest Lithuanian cities (Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda) draw significantly more investment – investment follows the presence of a skilled workforce. The editor found Saulius Skvernelis to have had a somewhat weak showing, with most of what he read off his paper coming across rather weak. Nevertheless he had several strong moments in his criticism of the coalition government and liberal vote based overruling of the President’s veto on Wednesday. As such the LVŽS earns 2 points from Laučius. The expert saw the Labour Party performance as being the weakest, particularly where Daukšys mentioned not seeing much difference who Lithuania synchronises electricity delivery with – Poland or Russia, thus leaving the DP with just 1 point in this case.

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