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Published: 14 november 2012 09:32

Labour Party to propose Vydas Gedvilas for speaker of Lithuanian parliament

Vydas Gedvilas
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Vydas Gedvilas

Lithuania's Labour Party will propose Vydas Gedvilas for the post of parliamentary speaker.

According to information available to BNS, the decision was made by the party's presidium on Tuesday.

Gedvilas, 53, former head coach of Lithuania's national women basketball team, has been a member of the Labour Party since 2004 and was re-elected for the third consecutive term in the elections in mid-October.

In 1981, Gedvilas graduated from the Lithuanian State Institute of Physical Education and defended a doctoral degree in biomedicine in 1999.

Between 1988 and 2004, he coached men's and women's basketball teams and was the head coach of women's national basketball team between 1996 and 2002.

Every soldier wants to be general

The Labour Party's candidate for parliamentary speaker Vydas Gedvilas says he has agreed to run for the post, which he is ready for.

"To put it simply, if you participate in politics and represent some political force – which soldier would not want to be a general?," Gedvilas told journalists on Tuesday.

"This is the second proposal I've received – I've been asked twice in my life to be the chairman, I refused because I wasn't ready. Now I'm ready. Eight years in political life, I've headed the (parliamentary) Committee on Education and the European Affairs Committee, I was the parliamentary vice-speaker for four years, I am up for the challenge," said the candidate for parliamentary speaker.

He said the Labour Party's presidium discussed a few candidates and proposed only his candidacy for voting, and the majority voted in support of proposing him for parliamentary speaker. Gedvilas refused to reveal other candidates.

According to informal reports, other candidates included parliament vice-speaker Virginija Baltraitienė and former speaker Artūras Paulauskas.

Algirdas Butkevičius, the leader of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, said he was satisfied Gedvilas' candidacy.

"My opinion is positive, as he has worked in parliament for a number of tenures, he has experience and I think the person should test himself in a higher post," Butkevičius told journalists on Wednesday.

The Social Democratic leader said he did not think the parliament would make obstacles on Gedvilas' accession to the position. "I don't think there should be any (obstacles), from as much as I know, the reviews are positive," Butkevičius said.

BNS
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