Seimas committees chairpersons and deputies have been elected

At the Seimas Committee on Environment
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

It was planned to be done on Thursday, but the opposition was dissatisfied with the number of committee deputy posts and asked for an adjournment until the next plenary session which will be next week.

For now only the European Affairs Committee has no chairperson. This committee will gather on Friday and will vote for its chairperson and deputies then.

The “Peasants” who have formed the majority coalition took ten chairperson posts in committees, while their coalition partners the Social Democrats took three. If G. Kirkilas is elected as the head of the European Affairs Committee, the SocDems will head a total of four committees. A representative of the opposition will be in charge of one committee.

Conservative Ingrida Šimonytė was voted chairwoman of the Audit Committee, with Naglis Puteikis, a member of the “Peasant” fraction will be the deputy. Social Democrat Algirdas Sysas was elected the Social Affairs and Labour Committee chairman, with “Peasant” Tomas Tomilinas being voted in as deputy. Social Democrat Julius Sabatauskas was voted Law and Law Enforcement Committee chairman, with the post of deputy going to Conservative Stasys Šedbaras.

The Foreign Affairs Committee will be headed by SocDem Juozas Bernatonis, his deputy will be “Peasant” Egidijus Vareikis.

“Peasant” Vytautas Bakas will head the National Security and Defence Committee with Conservative Rasa Juknevičienė acting as deputy.

The Environmental Protection Committee will be headed by “Peasant” Kęstutis Mažeika, his deputy will be Liberal Simonas Gentvilas.

The Budget and Finance Committee will have “Peasant” Viktoras Rinkevičius at its head, with two deputies – SocDem Andrius Palionis and Electoral Action of Poles – Christian Families’ Union representative Rita Tamašunienė.

The head of the Economics Committee will be “Peasant” Virginijus Sinkevičius, while his deputy will be Conservative Dainius Kreivys. The Rural Affairs Committee will be headed by “Peasant” Andriejus Stančikas, his deputy will be Conservative Kazys Starkevičius. Peasant leader Ramūnas Karbauskis will be in charge of the Culture Committee with Liberal Arūnas Gelūnas acting as his deputy.

The Healthcare Committee voted for “Peasant” Agnė Širinskienė to be chairwoman and Order and Justice representative Remigijus Žemaitaitis as her deputy.

“Peasant” Eugenijus Jovaiša was elected as the head of the Education and Science Committee, with Conservative Mantas Adomėnas becoming his deputy. The State Governance and Municipality Committee chairperson will be “Peasant” Povilas Urbšys, his deputy will be Conservative Algis Strelčiūnas.

The Human Rights Committee will be headed by “Peasant” Valerijus Simulikas, with Liberal Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen acting as deputy.

Members of Seimas are distributed into 15 parliamentary committees. The Seimas Speaker and Prime Minister do not belong to any committee.

Opposition to demand explanation on why the deputy chairman position in the Budget Committee went to the Poles

The fractions which have declared themselves as the opposition are dissatisfied that the Seimas Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) deputy chairman post went to the Electoral Action of Poles – Christian Families’ Union fraction, which has neither declared itself the opposition nor a majority fraction.

The Conservatives say that this way not only the Seimas Statute is breached, but also the unwritten tradition of assigning certain posts to opposition representatives.

On Thursday “Peasant” Viktoras Rinkevičius was voted in as the BFC chairman, with SocDem Andrius Palionis and Polish Electoral Action fraction leader Rita Tamašunienė voted in as deputies. R. Tamašunienė was supported by 7 of 13 committee members. Three voted against – the Liberals and Conservatives, while the candidate for the post of Minister of Finance Stasys Jakeliūnas abstained due to concern over whether the assignation of committee deputy quotas was correctly interpreted from the Seimas Statute.

Conservative Andrius Kubilius proposed to postpone the voting on the BFC deputy chairman, but the committee refused to do so. A. Kubilius has told BNS that he will reach out to the Seimas management over a potential breach of the Seimas Statute.

The Statute specifies that the BFC, same as the Audit Committee chairman or his deputy is elected from members of the opposition fraction or fraction coalition, which contains more than half of the Seimas minority. The BFC chairperson has two deputies.

“We will contact Seimas management over a breach of Statute, which outlines that one of the deputies has to be purely a representative of the opposition. Rita Tamašunienė is from a fraction which has not declared itself to be in the opposition. We will contact management and prefect assembly for an explanation. Perhaps we are mistaken? We do not yet have an Ethics and Procedures Commission and no-one else can provide such an explanation,” stated Kubilius. He also assured he will seek clarification from the Ethics and Procedures Commission once it forms, if Seimas management does not resolve the question.

Seimas Deputy Speaker Rima Baškienė declared during a plenary meeting that both the prefect assembly and the committee itself voted to hand over the seat of BFC deputy chairperson to the Polish Electoral Action fraction.

“Such was the will of the prefect assembly. The committee voted. The result is what it is,” stated Baškienė.

“Peasants” Juozas Varžgalys, Vida Ačienė and Valius Ąžuolas, Order and Justice member Kęstutis Bartkevičius, SocDem Algirdas Butkevičius, Liberal Kęstutis Glaveckas, Conservative Mykolas Majauskas and mixed Seimas member group member Aušra Maldeikienė will also work in the BFC for a total of 13 members.

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