Lithuania’s new ethics watchdog chief to focus on private interests, lobbyism

Edmundas Sakalauskas
DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

“First of all, it will be the register of private interests. That will be my key task for the project to move forward and be implemented. All the more so, the deadline is set at Jan. 1, 2020,” Sakalauskas told BNS Lithuania after his appointment.

The Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday voted for Sakalauskas’ appointment to head the ethics watchdog with 85 votes in favor, 11 against and six abstentions.

According to Sakalauskas, another key task is preventing illicit lobbyism and promoting transparent lobbyism.

“The other important task is lobbyism and stepping up prevention of illicit lobbyism and promoting in the state trust in and understanding of lobbyism in the positive sense,” Sakalauskas said.

The position of head of the Chief Official Ethics Commission has been vacant since March, 2017 when the watchdog’s then chairman Romas Valentukevičius resigned due a threat of a vote of no confidence.

The Chief Official Ethics Commission has five members, with the president, parliamentary speaker and prime minister nominating one member each and the Lithuanian Lawyers Association nominating the remaining two.

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