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Lithuania's outgoing center-right parliament held its last sitting

Irena Degutienė
BFL/Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Parliamentary Speaker Irena Degutienė
Šaltinis: BNS
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The tenth Seimas in the history of the Republic of Lithuania held its last sitting on Wednesday. From the start of the term, the Seimas was dominated by center-right political powers.

In her final speech, conservative Parliamentary Speaker Irena Degutienė said that during the years of recession, Lithuania managed to avoid the scenario of other countries where an economic crisis was followed by a political one.

"The history of many countries shows that an economic crisis might evolve into a political one. The fact that Lithuania managed to avoid that is most probably a reflection of our political responsibility, democratic strength, and consiousness of the people of Lithuania," the outgoing speaker said.

In Degutienė's words, "in the end, the Seimas' work is not measured by the number of legal acts adopted."

"Let's work and remember that there are political allies and opponents, and not enemies, in the Seimas. And the most important thing is not to be Lithuania's enemy," Degutienė said while talking about future work in the parliament.

Meanwhile social democrat Irena Šiaulienė said in her speech that "the start and the end are always the hardest."

"We realized how hard the end of this term was for us," she said at the end of Wednesday's sitting during which lawmakers had to address the issue of the next Seimas' composition, an issue the country's Constitutional Court recently ruled on.

"We had the chance to realize what a difficult work politics is, what a difficult art – politics – is to improve ourselves and the world. Naturally, politicians' responsibility for their state, their country varies, and, of course, it’s never absolute. Nobody rules on their own, and those around a ruling politician also take on part of the responsibility," the social democrat said.

Following the 2008 general elections, representatives of the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, the National Revival Party, the Order and Justice party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Movement, the Liberal and Centre Union, the Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, the New Union as well as four independent candidates won seats in the Lithuanian parliament.

The Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the Liberal Movement, the Liberal and Centre Union, and the National Revival Party formed a ruling coalition. The latter party subsequently split and part of it joined the liberal centrists, and the other formed the Christian Party political group and continued working until the end of the parliamentary term.

The Social Democratic Party, the Labour Party, and the Order and Justice party went into the opposition. The non-affiliated political group was initially made of four members, but their number rose to 17 by the end of the Seimas term.

Arūnas Valinskas, leader of the then National Revival Party, was initially elected speaker of the Seimas, but he was replaced by Degutienė in 2009. She became the first woman in Lithuania's history to be elected to the post.

The 15th Cabinet led by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius was formed and sworn in the Seimas in 2008. This Cabinet was the first since 1990 to survive the entire four-year term.

Three Seimas members passed away between 2008 and 2012.

The new Seimas is scheduled to assemble for the first sitting on Friday noon. On that day, powers of incumbent lawmakers will officially cease.

BNS
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