Paluckas cautioned by party on behind the scenes talks with Skvernelis

Gintautas Paluckas
Gintautas Paluckas, DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The Social Democrat party has warned its leader Gintautas Paluckas – attempts to lure over Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who is currently delegated by the “Farmers” should only be done with the party’s blessing, Tadas Ignatavičius wrote in

The left-wing opposition party’s behind the scenes flirt with S. Skvernelis was discussed in the Social Democratic Party’s board meeting.

Member of Seimas confirmed to Lietuvos Rytas that he proposed to his colleagues to approve a motion that the party is capable of participating in the coming Seimas elections on its own.

Rumours that upon passing next year’s budget, S. Skvernelis may supposedly seek to tie his political future with the leftists were fanned not only by the Social Democrat leader’s open hints that he is earnestly thinking about how to help the prime minister, who has as of late been left on the ice by the ruling parties.

Dislikes touring

According to Lietuvos Rytas sources, Gintautas Paluckas has as of late met with S. Skvernelis a number of times.

In a comment to Lietuvos Rytas, A. Sysas admitted that he too had heard talks about how the Social Democrats are supposedly preparing to include S. Skvernelis and his companions, who were described as the “twelve apostles” into their electoral roll. However, the politician stated he can neither confirm nor deny such claims.

“Whether we will go into the elections on our own or with someone can only be decided by the party council. As such, I advised to include this question into the agenda. However, my colleagues believe that the council need not make any rulings because we are strong and powerful. If we don’t, then we don’t.

However, I am against all sorts of touring artists. It does not matter if it is S. Skvernelis or anyone else. This is first of all disrespectful to our friends, who have campaigned for us for years, but then right before the elections, it would be like bang – no more room for you on the electoral roll.

I believe that we should primarily nurture our own people, as for joining with someone else, we can do so after the elections,” A. Sysas spoke.

A similar view is held by another influential member of the Social Democrats, the current Seimas opposition leader Julius Sabatauskas.

Uncertain benefit

“I believe that the decision of inviting someone from outside should be discussed at the party council. Prior to this, we should prepare a similar survey to what was performed prior to leaving the ruling coalition and only then can a decision be made.

The earlier practice, when stars were invited to electoral rolls, is no good. If we are now priding ourselves in how we managed to purify ourselves and succeeded in achieving renewal, then perhaps we shouldn’t sacrifice our identity once again for a few extra per cent of the vote. We should very cautiously select our potential partners. It is very much discussible whether it would bring us more advantages or disadvantages,” J. Sabatauskas told Lietuvos Rytas.

When asked in what direction the scales may tip when trying to draw left-wing voters with the popular prime minister, J. Sabatauskas presented a comparison: “We all remember the previous term when the ratings of the Social Democrats and their Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius were high and began to plummet only right before the elections. What were the results afterwards in the elections? Such are the lessons of history.”

According to the member of Seimas, the Social Democrats should primarily employ their own capacities.

S. Skvernelis must decide

While not denying that the party council discussed S. Skvernelis, G. Paluckas described the potential inclusion of the prime minister and his comrades into the leftist party’s electoral roll as speculation: “I said clearly that we do not have an electoral roll composed yet, thus any talks about it are far premature.”

The Social Democrats’ leader laughed upon hearing that his party colleagues suspect him of hiding something and notes that his doors are always open to members of their Seimas group and noted that there were no discussions of the Social Democrats being joined by anyone for the elections because the party is sufficiently strong to compete on its own.

G. Paluckas did not take to evaluating whether the prime minister joining his party’s electoral roll would bring advantages or do harm: “This should be considered not by us, but by S. Skvernelis. He should decide first of all. If he decides to continue participating in politics and wants to join us, we would then consider all the pros and cons.”

Uncertain about the future in politics

The head of the cabinet, who is currently ill, has been vague on his future and says that he will only make his decision when he gets better.

A few weeks ago, when asked of his opinion about rumours that in the coming Seimas elections, he might run with the Social Democrats, S. Skvernelis openly declared that he hasn’t decided on his political future overall: “I will decide when I will decide, but I will first look to the “Farmers”.”

Is G. Paluckas flirting with the prime minister with his talks about support for the cabinet or is he simply seeking to irritate the “Farmer” leader?

When asked this by Lietuvos Rytas, Ramūnas Karbauskis shot back that there’s nothing to comment on: “G. Paluckas does not respect Saulius. Has Saulius himself said that he will go with the Social Democrats?

No “Yes” from the prime minister

Yes, Saulius meets and talks to everyone, the representatives of the Social Democrat group included, but no assumptions should be drawn from this.”

The “Farmer” leader also downplayed G. Paluckas’ talks about potential Social Democrat support for the cabinet and budget project: “If you were to translate his words, they mean none other than “find an extra billion euro and then we will support this budget”.”

When asked if the paths of the “Farmers” and S. Skvernelis may diverge, whether the prime minister will lead the “Farmer” electoral roll in the next Seimas elections once again, R. Karbauskis was unwilling to make guesses: “We should not push a person to answer on what will happen in a year when it is uncertain, what his health will be.”

As Lietuvos Rytas reported earlier, the “Farmers” themselves sought to extract an answer to this from S. Skvernelis already in September. However, the prime minister did not give an affirmative answer at that time.
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