Unprecedented sights in government: lost in their own deals

Goverment of Lithuania
Goverment of Lithuania, DELFI

The political flea market has gained so much momentum that even the traders themselves seem to have gotten lost in the deals they are making. We probably have never before seen so many exotic sights, Vytautas Bruveris writes in lrytas.lt.

Take how having just saved the Order and Justice Seimas group from falling apart and having made it into “Sovereign Lithuania”, “Farmer” leader R. Karbauskis’ loyal squire A. Širinskienė has already returned to her home village.


Why did R. Karbauskis withdraw this “queen” and instead of her pushed non-partisan pawn A. Jankuvienė (a controversial journalist, to put it very mildly – ed.), a recent arrival in Seimas, to go save State Stability?

Because the opposition and rebels within the party (first Seimas vice Speaker R. Baškienė among them) have employed jurists and began to threaten A. Širinskienė with the Constitutional Court for her desire to both be a “Farmer” and in Order and Justice at the same time.


It is hard to say, why this whole absurdity was needed at all. After all, just when the Order and Justice group fell apart, R. Karbauskis claimed that this has no impact on stability – the coalition is formed by parties.

There’s no lack of manoeuvring in the continuing epic regarding the seat of Seimas speaker.


The “Farmer” ethics watchdogs have ruled that intent to remain in his seat at all costs V. Pranckietis has not breached the farmer green ethics.

Still, in control of the party council, R. Karbauskis would seem to have lost in the Ethics and Procedures Commission.


In an attempt to present as indifferent expression as possible, the “Farmer” leader uttered that V. Pranckietis can stay in his office, but only after coming to an agreement with the Social Democrat Labour partners that he will represent them now.

Choices for Pranckietis

In turn, Social Democrat Labour has declared that either V. Pranckietis must become a member of their party or if not, then the so-called children’s money has to be increased to the sum they demand – 122 euro.


However, this feverish gibbering ends, it is now completely unclear from what field this hot potato, V. Pranckietis with his whole chair, comes from. Because he ceremoniously declares that he represents Seimas. But in fact – only himself.

And who does S. Skvernelis, blessed to take the seat of prime minister again, represent? 83 members of Seimas voted for it, including a part of the opposition.


It is natural – this Seimas has no one to replace the puzzle that the old-new majority crafted. By the way, they also have no one better than S. Skvernelis.

But it is no less obvious that the head of the cabinet is bound to the current majority by only completely formal matters – membership in the Seimas “Farmer” group.


On the eve of the vote in Seimas, S. Skvernelis exchanged public declarations with R. Karbauskis. They sounded like quotes from divorce papers.

The prime minister declared he is free to seek a new cart before the Seimas elections because the “Farmer” one is broken. But failing to find a more suitable one, he will remain in it.


Skvernelis’ moves

After all, S. Skvernelis even remained in the seat of the prime minister because after the lost presidential elections he failed to shift to the more desirable seat of European commissioner. After all, he understood later – limited knowledge of English will bar the way to Brussels.

Meanwhile, R. Karbauskis declared on 25 July that the Seimas “Farmer” group decided to delegate Minister of Economics and Innovation V. Sinkevičius to become European commissioner.


Now it was S. Skvernelis’ turn to get riled up – this was not discussed with him.

By the way, this miscommunication is one of the many, where between the prime minister and “Farmer” leader we see sparks fly.


But still, R. Karbauskis suddenly decided to send to Brussels the young, with good prospects, but unlikely to be matured for such a post to V. Sinkevičius? Perhaps so that he would remove from the political front stage one of the most dangerous and most dislike by him rebels in the party?

On the other hand, after such a manoeuvre, perhaps a ministry could be found for Order and Justice? After all, they were left without a minister seat following President G. Nausėda declaring that the office of minister of national defence should remain with R. Karoblis.


The head of state has also declared earlier that another protégé of his predecessor should remain – Minister of Finance V. Šapoka, where there are also plans to send him packing to Brussels, thus being rid of him.

However, this week, the president appears to have dismantled the puzzles made by the prime minister and Seimas majority.


Skvernelis and his ministers

S. Skvernelis promised that on July 25, he would present three new minister candidacies to G. Nausėda. This should have been the Electoral Action of Poles – Christian Families Union delegates to become minister of interior and minister of transport and communications, J. Narkevičius and V. Kondratovičius, also Social Democrat Labour candidate to the office of Minister of Agriculture A. Palionis.

But it all came to nothing despite the prime minister meeting the president twice on that day. It would appear that the new head of state is displaying firmness. Indeed, certain minister candidates could be dubious. Take J. Narkevičius, who has himself admitted to having issues with English.


Such a downfall is especially disappointing because, over the next few years, existential and strategic questions involving the future of Europe will be decided.

Thus, such countries as Lithuania must be particularly concerned with having as important a position at the decision table as possible and in it – a figure, which is recognised there and listened to, one with the overall experience in these situations.


Some Western expert publications mentioned, for example, the name of former Minister of Foreign Affairs V. Ušackas among such candidates, who could aim to become European commissioner.

Skvernerlis and a European Commissioner

However, in our internal flea market, what matters most is partisan and personal connections with key decision-makers and their calculations. This is what leads to such important decisions becoming the part and hostages to such provincial internal games.


Furthermore, G. Nausėda actively involved himself in the process of appointing a European commissioner, which is increasingly akin to a provincial marketplace.

“The Seimas failure to come to terms with the cabinet and its head on this question not only hampers but also discredits the selection process for the new European Commission member, it diminishes our negotiation capabilities, which other countries exploit right now,” the head of state remarked.


After urging to take up coordinated and active diplomatic efforts for Lithuania to obtain the post of European commissioner that best matches the country and all of the EU’s interests without delay, the president declared that he is prepared to negotiate on candidacies with the cabinet over the coming days and present it to the Seimas for approval.

In other terms, next week should also not be dull on the political stage even while politicians are on holiday in normal countries.

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