S. Skvernelis: the post of prime minister would be an obstacle in the elections

Saulius Skvernelis
DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is often mentioned among potential candidates for the post of Lithuanian president. This was the discussion topic of the talk show Savaitė, lrt.lt writes.

You are being described as a candidate. You have supposedly said that this is an easier post than what you are doing right now and I have not seen you deny this anywhere. Can you confirm that you really do intend, are thinking about it?

I can confirm that I certainly intend and am thinking about working in the post I am in. The conclusions made by your colleague [Edmundas Jakilaitis] are just his own. I spoke about how I am also of the opinion that this position is the most difficult and complicated in the state.

I am not participating in the electoral campaign and this is truly an attempt to drag me in… This would fundamentally hamper the work of the cabinet, due to this I categorically reject it and am consistently working as the prime minister of Lithuania, which I will continue to do in the future.

But your rhetoric – seeking to sort out pricing, talks about growing incomes, that is to say better livelihood, efforts for business and politicians’ relations to be transparent and finally you speaking in favour of reducing the number of members of Seimas – all of this is the sort of rhetoric that is as if directed to the future and thinking about elections.

Well, if you were to look at the government’s programme, all of these things you mentioned are in it. Perhaps our difference from prior governments is that we are implementing our commitments. It has been done consistently from day one.

Ok, then do tell – does being prime minister help or hamper your situation in regard to running for president?

I believe that so far, no prime minister has run [for president] and I recall respectable colleague Algirdas Butkevičius, who said so that it makes it more difficult.

If you did choose to run, would you resign from the post of prime minister?

There are many assumptions being made here, what would be if would be. I am certainly not thinking about it. Since certain other decisions should be made, then I could consider, what to do next. The Constitution and legislation do not bar a member of Seimas, minister or even prime minister from running for president.

It does not bar the way, but you yourself say it is difficult.

No doubt, it is difficult and I believe that if there were something, it would be a sufficiently major challenge.

Would you withdraw from your post then after all?

If some cherish hopes and wanted this to change the prime minister, then definitely not.

Gitanas Nausėda says that if a person appeared, who could unite your disputing Farmers and Greens with the Conservatives and some form of normal work began, he would then not run for president because his goal would be to unite. Could you be such an individual, what do you think?

I believe that if we look retrospectively at all presidential electoral campaigns, probably none have said that they wished to split up Lithuania, but Lithuania or its separate groups, which have been antagonised or are antagonistic to one another, should first want to be united themselves.

We have seen those, who were as if seeking to unite, but they antagonised and split Lithuania much further than those, who perhaps did not even raise such hopes of unification. Yes, it is a normal desire and I believe it is a president’s mission to hear out everyone, to be equally just to everyone and seek to take the role of a uniting moderator, not just for society, but what is also important and is a major problem of recent years, for government institutions, so that they would work together hand in hand in the name of the country.

Prime minister, G. Nausėda has announced he is withdrawing from the bank on September 7. There are few, who hold doubts that he will run for president, but he will announce it immediately after departing the bank. When do you plan to say it?

I am not planning to speak and say it at all right now. I certainly do not thing that there is need to declare I am not participating. The dates will come, when individuals, who wish to participate in the elections, will have to perform certain procedures and if I will not have it done, then the question is automatically void. If I dared otherwise, then you will also see it immediately.

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