The negotiations on a ruling coalition that were launched a month ago have hit a roadblock – politicians are struggling with sharing offices, but promise a leap forward within a week.
Yesterday, it turned out that the conclusion of the four-party negotiations is being postponed for at least a week. “Farmer” leader Ramūnas Karbauskis stated that the coalition agreement should be signed today, Tada Ignatavičius wrote in lrytas.lt
By the way, R. Karbauskis said something along the same lines last week as well, when the agreement was to be signed immediately after Joninės.
But the “Farmer” was brought back down to the ground by Social Democrat Labour leader Gediminas Kirkilas, who seeks to hold a firm position in the negotiations and requested a pause. He no longer demands the earlier promised post of Seimas speaker, but Social Democrat Labour has not reduced their other demands.
Aims and possibilities
G. Kirkilas’ party intends to continue negotiations only if their proposed programme points are taken into consideration, with increases to children’s money being among them.
Furthermore, Social Democrat Labour wishes to obtain the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Failing this, they would be content with one of the so-called economic ministries.
Meanwhile, the “Farmers” apparently wish for Social Democrat Labour to be content with the ministries they currently hold – foreign affairs and justice.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis also loudly declared that the coalition partners’ pursuit of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour is not realistic. He is convinced that the ministry should remain with the “Farmers”, stating that, “Since neither side wishes to stand down, the larger one wins.”
A minority government?
It can be understood from re-emerging talks about a minority government that the “Farmers” are uninclined to relinquish certain ministries they currently hold.
It was stated that if one of the participating parties do not agree to join the coalition, the agreement could also be signed just between three political powers. “It would turn out to be a minority government,” R. Karbauskis conceded.
S. Skvernelis also would not dismiss the possibility, stating that it is very realistic.
Behind the scenes, there are musings that this could restrain Social Democrat Labour, among whose ranks in Seimas there has long been a feeling of discontent with the negotiation proceedings and a rebellious mood.
As Lietuvos Rytas wrote earlier, at least four of the Seimas group’s members have considered the possibility of withdrawing from it.
The prime minister’s advisor Skirmantas Malinauskas admitted that the current negotiations on a ruling coalition are proceeding with far more difficulty than those after the Seimas elections because an extra political power has entered them.
“Until an agreement is made on the coalition, the PM cannot specify whether he will remain in office. But there would also be no tragedy if no agreement is reached. We have had a minority government, we have also heard statements from Conservatives leader Gabrielius Landsbergis that they would consider the possibility to support such a cabinet,” S. Malinauskas said.
Offices still not shared out
According to Lietuvos Rytas sources, the Social Democrat Labour demand for more minister seats at the negotiations on a ruling coalition is somewhat muddling up the “Farmers’” agreements with the other potential coalition partners.
While Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Union leader Waldemar Tomaszewski has not yet specified a ministry that interests his party, they could obtain the Ministry of Interior. However, there are concerns that the Poles, who hold just three votes less than Social Democrat Labour in parliament, may express new demands.
Meanwhile, Remigijus Žemaitaitis’ Order and Justice party has apparently been promised the Ministry of Agriculture.
That said, bother V. Tomaszewski and R. Žemaitaitis stated on July 1 that they see no problem with signing a coalition agreement and the negotiations are only stalled due to the dispute between the “Farmers” and Social Democrat Labour.
V. Tomaszewski stated he only urged the coalition partners to come to an agreement on larger children’s money, with the grant being over 100 euro for families with numerous children. “If we can come to an agreement on programme points, we can support this cabinet even without holding ministries,” he said.