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Published: 6 november 2012 11:46

Lithuanian coalition parties divide up ministries

Susitikimo akimirka
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Susitikimo akimirka

Three Lithuanian parties holding coalition talks agreed on the distribution of ministries in the future government late on Monday.

The Social Democratic Party will nominate a candidate for prime minister and get seven ministries, including the Ministries of Finance, Transport and Communications, Economy, National Defense, Health, Foreign Affairs, and Justice.

The Labor Party will control five ministries, including the Ministries of Agriculture, the Interior, Education and Science, Social Security and Labor, and Culture.

The Order and Justice Party will take over the Ministries of Environment and Energy.

"The discussion was very long. We grouped the economy-related ministries into one group, and the remaining ministries into the other and then we looked at how we could manage the ministries the best by giving them to certain parties," Social Democratic leader Algirdas Butkevičius said following the Monday talks with the leaders of the Labor Party and the Order and Justice Party.

"As we could say that we agreed and we had no doubts or additional questions, so we decided that we could sign a coalition agreement tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Seimas," Butkevičius said.

He said the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania had no chances of getting ministerial positions but could join the three-party coalition and get some positions of vice-ministers.

"The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania can join based on the program principle, i.e., they could join the coalition additionally and talk about vice-ministerial positions," the Social Democratic leader said.

The Labor Party will also nominate a candidate for speaker of the Seimas.

"Following long discussions, it was agreed that the Labor Party would nominate a candidate for speaker of the Seimas," Butkevičius said. Asked whether Vytautas Gapšys, a defendant in the Labor Party's fraud case, would not seek the position, Butkevičius said: "Let's wait a bit. I hope that's how it will be."

Viktor Uspaskich, leader of the Labor Party, said Gapšys might be appointed the first deputy speaker of the Seimas. Uspaskich also confirmed his plans to renounce his seat in the European Parliament and lead the Labor Party's political group in the Seimas.

Asked why the Order and Justice Party got the Ministry of Energy, Butkevičius said it was the result of long negotiations.

"At first, the Ministry of Justice was meant for them, and later on they wished to exchange it for the Ministry of Energy, and in the end they got two and not three ministries," Butkevičius said.

Candidates for ministers have not been named yet.

"After we sign a coalition agreement and receive the president's final approval that the prime minister can start forming the government, then we'll start talking about individual candidates," the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania said.

As potential prime minister, Butkevičius is scheduled to inform President Dalia Grybauskaitė about agreements reached by the three parties forming a center-left coalition.

The Social Democratic Party of Lithuania has 38 seats in the new parliament. The Labor Party has 29 and the Order and Justice Party has 11. The three parties would have a ruling majority of 78 members.

BNS
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