Dabar populiaru
Published: 5 december 2012 10:44

Labour Party refuses to replace ministerial candidates rejected by president

Viktoras Uspaskichas
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Viktor Uspaskich

At an emergency meeting on Tuesday evening, presidium of Lithuania's ruling Labor Party approved the same candidates for ministers as before, despite some of them having been rejected by the president.

"The presidium approved the same candidates that we had, the list hasn't changed. (...) Unfortunately, the presidium made no compromise today," party leader Viktor Uspakisch told reporters.

Asked whether the Labor Party would stick to its proposal of Loreta Graužinienė for social security and labor minister and Virginija Baltraitienė for education and science minister, Uspaskich reiterated that the names hadn't changed.

"We deem them competent for the ministerial posts, they are capable of managing any situation, this is what the presidium supported today," said the leader.

Prime Minister-Designate Algirdas Butkevičius of the Social Democratic Party, who attended the presidium meeting, said "these are the people who have the most extensive experience on the political arena and capable of successfully performing their duties, should they be appointed as ministers."

Butkevičius said he wanted to hear the party's final political decision on the ministerial candidates.

"I believe the most competent people have been selected, they deserve to work in the government," he said.

According to informal reports, Butkevičius has been informed that President Dalia Grybauskaitė finds Graužinienė and Baltraitienė unacceptable for ministers. Controversial reports have been received in connection to the culture minister candidates.

Butkevičius denied that the party's presidium decision to keep the candidate list unchanged would constitute a challenge to the president.

"We see no challenge here, we want to end this topic and discussions about formation of the government. We have already worked out a government program, we want to achieve the goals we have raised and the promises we have given to people, we want to get to specific tasks in state governance rather than argue about details," he said.

Butkevičius stated he would submit the final candidate list to the president on Wednesday, expressing hope the head-of-state would approve it.

Under the center-left coalition agreement, the Labor Party will be in charge of four ministries: Social Security and Labor, Education and Science, Agriculture, and Culture.

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