Seimas to launch probe of political corruption during previous governments

Sixty-seven MPs on Tuesday voted in favor of setting up a new parliamentary investigation commission, 28 were against and three abstained. The resolution was passed by votes from the ruling bloc’s lawmakers and those from the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS).

Seven out of 12 members of the commission are lawmakers of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), including Agnė Širinskienė, who will head the probe. The Lithuanian Social Democratic Labor Party (LSDDP) will have two representatives, and the Order and Justice, the Liberal Movement and the LLRA-KŠS will have one each.

The Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) and the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) refused to take part in the commission’s investigation.

“Obviously, all this is driven by revenge and hatred,” TS-LKD MP Mykolas Majauskas said, commenting on the new probe.

Mindaugas Puidokas of the ruling LVŽS said that important questions raised by last spring’s parliamentary investigation by the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK) could not be ignored.

“We must give answers, because we are talking about millions of euros, which are very important for the budget of our small country. It’d be strange if we didn’t take any steps and pretended that we don’t hear and see what’s going on around,” he said.

Under the draft resolution, the parliamentary commission should investigate possible unlawful influence on political processes, appointments to high-ranking positions and the legislative process between 2008 and 2016.

The commission should also be tasked with looking into what information law-enforcement and intelligence bodies provided to the competent authorities and what steps were taken based on that information.

The deadline for completing the probe will likely be set for May 1, 2019. Presidential and European Parliament election campaigns will be in full swing by that time.

Širinskienė could not tell reporters on Tuesday what exactly the commission would investigate.

“We’ll discuss this when the commission convenes. Yes, the task is of a general nature, but I have to say that the tasks for the NSGK were of a general nature, too,” she said.

According to Širinskienė, the new commission will use the NSGK findings as a basis for its own probe.

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