Skvernelis – SocDem candidates can suggest ministers to ‘our’ ministries

Saulius Skvernelis
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

The Social Democrats may propose their candidates for other ministries than just the ones currently assigned to them during the current negotiations says Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LPGU) Prime Minister candidate Saulius Skvernelis.

The current LPGU-Social Democrat (LSDP) agreement is that the latter will be in charge of the ministries of economy, foreign affairs and justice, despite four of the six SocDem negotiation group members declaring their disagreement with such a negotiation result on Wednesday, citing it as arbitrary behaviour on part of incumbent PM Algirdas Butkevičius.

“This is an internal matter, it is hard to comment on, but perhaps it is necessary to understand that we are speaking about very different principle of forming the cabinet. It won’t be as imagined, that someone will decide that one or another person has to be in the ministry – I will perhaps choose a different variant,” S. Skvernelis pointed out to BNS regarding the LSDP’s disagreements.

“We have to look at potential candidates, seek the best – if among them we find the person who suits a different ministry best, then they will become a candidate. I stress that we are speaking not about your or our ministries in the agreement, but regarding our mutual cabinet,” he added.

The current agreement was reached when A. Butkevičius who is leading his negotiation team and the LSDP fraction prefect Irena Šiaulienė met with LPGU leader Ramūnas Karbauskis. The LPGU leader has said that the meeting with Butkevičius and Šiaulienė was made under his initiative. The rest of the negotiators – Andrius Palionis, Julius Sabatauskas, A. Sysas and Gintautas Paluckas – declared a separate opinion on the conditions for the coalition to the party council and presidium on Wednesday. They disagree with the decision to hand over the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and also criticise the decision to not negotiate for a fourth ministry, passing on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, despite the party council directing the negotiators to do so.

S. Skvernelis sees no issue with the LSDP working in the coalition despite the internal tensions that could occur.

“No, I definitely do not think so,” he said when asked if negotiations could be restarted due to this disagreement.

The coalition agreement signed by the “Peasants” and the Social Democrats on Wednesday will come into power when the relevant party institutions will give their blessing. The SocDems intend to discuss the process of negotiations and the results achieved during a Friday presidium meeting.
During the October elections to Seimas, the Peasant Greens won 56 seats in Seimas, while the Social Democrats won 17.

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