Neither Blinkevičiūtė nor Karbauskis wants to become Prime Ministers: they explained why

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

They want to win the parliamentary elections but do not want to become Prime Ministers. Both Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, the Chairwoman of the Social Democrats, and Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Peasants, do not answer whether they would take over the leadership of the Government in case of their success. However, Karbauskis already has options – Aurelijus Veryga, who has barely warmed up his feet in the European Parliament, could take over as Prime Minister in the autumn, Eglė Šepetytė states in

“Yes, I will lead the Social Democratic Party’s list to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania” – this promise, finally made by Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, was not made out of great desire.

With Mindaugas Sinkevičius bogged down in the courts, Lithuania’s most prominent political party does not have another strong leader to shine on the election posters. And having said that, Blinkevičiūtė is now hesitating about B – whether, if successful, she will sacrifice her fourth term in the European Parliament and run for the post of Prime Minister.

“No other crowns will be placed, and again, I ask you not to push me into a corner somehow. I am a rational person, a wise person, and a person with a lot of experience, and I have eaten a lot of salt in my political life. Therefore, all decisions will be taken that are most needed by the people of Lithuania,” said Blinkevičiūtė.

Karbauskis also does not want to become Prime Minister

Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Peasants, is not specific either—polls are painting him and the Social Democrats as possible members of a future coalition. Would Karbauskis be Prime Minister?

“I can’t answer that now. As for the position of Prime Minister, this question is a bit simpler than going to the Seimas because a person who is not a member of the Seimas can also be Prime Minister. But in this case, we have a whole series of people who could be candidates for the LVŽS”, Karbauskis replies.

Since the height of the presidential elections, Ignas Vėgėlė has been mentioned as one of the contenders for a vital Government or Seimas post. He was the reason why the Peasants withdrew their candidate, Veryga, and during the European Parliament elections, Vėgėlė and Karbauskis were already calmly discussing political matters.

Although the two had met to discuss future cooperation, Karbauskis had not yet heard the expected “yes”.

“My invitation to cooperate has been made. The question is whether Ignas will be in politics depends on his decision”, says Karbauskis.

However, Karbauskis does not see Vėgėlė as a potential Prime Minister.

“Aurelijus Veryga and Bronis Ropė could probably be stronger candidate for this position than Ignas Vėgėlė because they have more experience in politics. I could count myself among that number, so we already have three of them, which would not be in doubt,” says the leader of the Peasant Party.

Veryga: “I don’t feel so strong as a politician”

“Then it is unclear what Ignas Vėgėlė is needed for, except to attract some votes. If he is not projected to be in a key position, why talk to him about being number one on the list? Then we have a second version of the Social Democrats,” says political analyst Ignas Kalpokas.

However, does the former health minister see himself as Prime Minister?

“I am happy. It is clear that my colleagues think so highly of me, but I do not feel so strongly as a politician that I can confidently say that I am very suitable for such a position. But in any case, such decisions are made by the party council”, says Veryga.

Political analyst Ignas Kalpokas jokes that Veryga would have at least served longer in the European Parliament than Šarūnas Marčiulionis, who was on the State party list in the last parliamentary term and who resigned as soon as he won. However, political analysts said that the parties should disclose in advance who they would nominate for the post of Prime Minister.

“This is very unfair because what we do as voters is play the lottery. It’s like buying a shiny lottery ticket, but until we rub it out, we won’t know what’s inside,” said Kalpokas.

And why neither Blinkevičiūtė, who is fond of Brussels, nor Karbauskis, who has mastered the role of the grey cardinal in Skvernelis’ Government, are eager to be Šimonytė’s successor – the answer is quite simple.

“Why that post is unpopular is that it is a post of political self-immolation. On the one hand, it is a huge power to be Prime Minister; he/she is the most influential politician in the country, but at the same time, he/she is a is the politician who is blamed for everything that goes wrong in the state,”

Two-thirds of the country’s citizens have a negative opinion of the Government led by Ingrida Šimonytė.

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