Interior minister will be removed, Paksas says

Saulius Skvernelis
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

“Skvernelis has not handed in his letter of resignation, therefore the second condition stands. The presidium of Order and Justice has decided that, unless he resigns, the party is recalling the minister from the post as of today. The prime minister agrees with this and we will present our candidates for replacement shortly,” Paksas told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.

The Order and Justice party has said it wants Skvernelis to step down after he announced he would be running for parliament in October’s elections with another party, the Peasant and Greens Union.

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Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius confirmed later on Tuesday that Skvernelis will have to step down as minister of the interior, but not before Order and Justice comes up with a candidate to replace him.

“I will make up my mind on the termination of this minister’s job only after a new candidate has been proposed,” he told reporters.

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The prime minister said that he had known in advance that Skvernelis would run for parliament on a ticket of the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union.

“Before leaving for China, I had met with Mr. Karbauskis and the interior minister. We spoke that the interior minister, Mr. Skvernelis, would run for parliament on the Peasant and Greens Union list and would lead that list,” Butkevičius said.

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“We agreed that this would be announced to the public after April 9, when (parties) will be able to officially launch their election campaigns,” he said.

According to him, the interior minister knew that he might have to leave the post he has held since autumn 2014.

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