Nausėda‘s conversations with party leaders – the president, seeks allies

Presidential Palace
Presidential palace in Vilnius DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

There’s still a good eight months to the Seimas elections; however, preparations are ongoing for them not only among the “Farmers”, who declared it but also by the president. Announcing that the election season has begun, President Gitanas Nausėda began to invite party leaders for conversations. Political scientists are certain that the head of state will seek to conclude, what political powers it will be best for him to come to terms with after the Seimas elections, Eglė Šepetytė wrote in

Meanwhile, the leader of the main ruling “Farmer” party Ramūnas Karbauskis, who just declared that they will trade posts in Seimas for visits in the regions, doesn‘t even hide anymore that they are doing their all for the elections and reveals what he will tell the president when he is next invited to the Presidential Palace.

Social Democrats – first to come

The first of the party leaders invited for a conversation was one, who hadn’t even been elected to Seimas this term – Social Democrat Party chairman Gintautas Paluckas. However, the new elections are already due in autumn and the Social Democrats, just as other opposition parties, will have an opportunity to shift the balance of power. Explaining why Nausėda is launching a cycle of meetings with party leaders, his advisor jested regarding the “Farmer” leader, who declared last week that he is relinquishing the offices of Seimas group leader and Culture Committee head so that he would travel the regions and would personally spread his word to voters.

“It is clear that the Seimas election political season has begun. The president hopes for this season to be constructive, for there to be discussions of what the country’s development needs to create a welfare state and not one that leads to personal clashes and political confrontations,” the president’s advisor Povilas Mačiulis says.

According to Masiulis, in such meetings, the president will discuss party programmes and priorities for the next term with the party leaders. Also – necessary remaining work in this Seimas term. However, there are increasingly few thoughts about the incumbent government, which is counting its last months in power. Take how the chaos inciting question of Minister Narkiewicz has become less interesting for all parties.

Paluckas happy with the conversation

“Mr Narkiewicz is untouchable. He was touched so many times that there’s no more point touching him anymore. The prime minister and the ruling coalition cover him with their bodies. We, the opposition, and the president have expressed our opinion about Mr Narkiewicz; thus there’s no point to touching him anymore,” Social Democrat Party chairman Gintautas Paluckas says.

Political scientist Jūratė Novagrockienė explains that the president is now concerned with understanding what to expect from the parties, which will be potentially gathering into a new coalition in autumn. Nausėda will have to work with the new ruling coalition for the rest of his term.

“Looking who his partners could be, who he will be better able to come to terms with compared to the current coalition, with he has not been able to come to terms with. And I believe it has been given up and no terms will be sought [with the incumbents],” J. Novagrockienė says

The “Farmer” leader is currently occupied with controversial publications of data about a former minister of his own coalition’s cabinet Rokas Masiulis. Having lost popularity and with a combative mindset, Karbauskis continues to deny any confrontation with the president.

“The president is likely inviting party leaders to discuss what upcoming coalitions may look like, what priorities will be set. One thing is clear – if the current opposition wins, they will likely dismantle all we have done,” “Farmer” chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis spoke.

Karbauskis’ getting ready

R. Karbauskis assures that on meeting with G. Nausėda he will talk about R. Masiulis: “The truth brings freedom. That’s what the message will be. What I mean is that we will release all we know and the people will decide.”

After such words, even for R. Karbauskis it would be naïve to claim he is not taking all these measures for the elections: “Elections end – elections start. On the same day, one election ends, another begins.”

That said, political scientists remind that eight months prior to the elections is a rather lengthy period, a whole Seimas session still awaits, as well as a large number of tasks. It wouldn’t quite seem fair to throw everything away and rush off to voters.

“He was elected by the people. People look for him to make major achievements. But now Karbauskis says – “well, you elected me, but I won’t be in Seimas, I have things to do in the regions,” J. Novagrockienė thinks. Another confrontation between the president and coalition awaits well before the Seimas elections. It is still uncertain whether Nausėda will appoint to the position of minister of economics and innovation Prime Minister S. Skvernelis’ nominee Lukas Savickas. The head of state is to invite the nominee for a talk this week.

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