Increasingly confusing manoeuvres regarding offices

Viktoras Pranckietis
Viktoras Pranckietis, DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Viktoras Pranckietis, who is being pushed out of the office of Seimas speaker, has accused Order and Justice leader Remigijus Žemaitaitis of lying for claims that the “Farmer” previously agreed to withdraw, but changed his mind suddenly within two hours, Vytautas Bruveris wrote in lrytas.lt .

Seimas Vice Speaker R. Žemaitaitis spoke up about V. Pranckietis’ manoeuvres on lrytas.lt’s TV show Ne Spaudai and stated he was disappointed in the “Farmer”, who apparently knew even before the ruling coalition memorandum was signed that the office of Seimas speaker would go to Social Democrat Labour.

“There were talks, there was agreement. He said otherwise, asked what the situation would be if changes occurred. I participated in that meeting and things were completely different, so I find it odd that he does not stand by the agreement.

It is rather odd to me that the Seimas speaker’s position changed within two hours of our meeting in the cabinet building. If they had not received confirmation from him, nothing would have happened.

The leaders of four parties, the prime minister and chancellor participated in that meeting. All that you are hearing, what you are seeing, the games he is playing, that’s not ethical,” the Order and Justice party leader said.

Opposition tool?

R. Žemaitaitis mused on June 13 whether V. Pranckietis’ change of heart may have been due to the opposition. He was echoed by Seimas Vice Speaker Irena Šiaulienė of Social Democrat Labour, who also participated on Ne Spaudai. “The opposition incited the Seimas speaker, telling him he will have a chance for revenge,” she said.

Nevertheless, R. Žemaitaitis believes that in the end, V. Pranckietis will resign from the seat of speaker, it is hard to imagine the latter’s political future otherwise: “Who will greet him afterward, who will shake his hand and what will he look like after it? What party will he go to elections with?”

I. Šiaulienė suggested the “Farmer” consider why he is in such a high government office in the first place and also expressed hope V. Pranckietis would resign.

Order and Justice leader accused of lying

“It was a blatant lie,” V. Pranckietis remarked regarding R. Žemaitaitis’ claims.

The “Farmer” stated he did not even see the Order and Justice leader on that day and only found out about the party leaders meeting from the news media: “No one spoke with me, no one came to an agreement with me, no one told me anything. The memorandum appeared and I only received it from journalists in the evening.”

Majority’s plans changed

The circumstances of the memorandum’s signing were also described differently by “Farmer” and Social Democrat Labour leaders Ramūnas Karbauskis and Gediminas Kirkilas.

R. Karbauskis told Lietuvos Rytas on Thursday that prior to signing the memorandum, he did not speak to V. Pranckietis and did not discuss anything with him: “There were no agreements. Perhaps it just seemed that way to someone.”

R. Karbauskis mused that perhaps R. Žemaitaitis heard about other “Farmers’” talks with V. Pranckietis: “There were talks with him. A number of our Seimas group members spoke with him about what be if be.

It was not the case that he was told he should go wherever, do whatever and we don’t care. He is a member of our team. But I did not speak with him and did not know he would refuse to resign.

The “Farmer” leader only revealed that it was planned to not unveil the memorandum’s text to anyone for some time, but this did not succeed.

G. Kirkilas also told Lietuvos Rytas that he did not participate in the discussion described by R. Žemaitaitis: “Prior to signing the memorandum, I really didn’t know whether there had been any agreement with V. Pranckietis and whether he agrees to resign. I do not know if there was such a talk. Perhaps?”

R. Masiulis already out?

While the ruling coalition puzzle has been in the works for a few weeks now, there is little talk about other agreements.

That said, R. Žemaitaitis declared on Thursday that if PM Saulius Skvernelis withdrew from the office of the prime minister, Order and Justice would not join the coalition.

S. Skvernelis himself has not clearly indicated whether he will return to the office. Furthermore, musings have emerged that R. Karbauskis has other plans regarding the office of prime minister.

Sources say that the office may be offered to former Port of Klaipėda head Arvydas Vaitkus. Initially, he should replace Rokas Masiulis as minister of transport and communications and if S. Skvernelis were to withdraw, he would take the vacant post.

Talks that have hovered around for a time now that R. Masiulis will not be in the new cabinet one way or another were also confirmed by G. Kirkilas on June 13.

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