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Published: 22 november 2012 14:29

Lithuanian parliament backs Algirdas Butkevičius for prime minister

Algirdas Butkevičius
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Algirdas Butkevičius

Lithuania's Seimas endorsed the appointment of the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Algirdas Butkevičius, as the country's next prime minister.

90 MPs voted in favor, 40 were against, and 4 abstained.

Butkevičius was supported by representatives of the Social Democratic Party, the Labour Party, the Order and Justice Party, the Electoral Action of Poles, 3 members of the opposition Path of Courage Party and 3 members of the non-affiliated political group.

Meanwhile members of the opposition Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the Liberal Movement political groups and some of the members of the Path of Courage Party voted against or abstained.

Outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius wished his successor "simple human fortitude."

"I really know what this job means. I would like to say that this job is not easy, it’s very responsible. When you do it, you have no opportunities to complain that somebody is not picking the phone or that the opposition is disturbing you with long speeches," Kubilius said.

"I would like to wish the incoming prime minister to decide as soon as possible what historic legacy he would like to leave in his post, whether he wants to go down in history as a prime minister who spent his entire term in the prime minister's chair or as a prime minister who knew what to do for the state to go forward, for Lithuania not to stop, to continue modernization, to be capable of dealing with various crises the world might definitely see in the future," the Conservative leader said.

Ex-Speaker of the Seimas, Irena Degutienė, wished Butkevičius to remember only good things and to be able to conclude in four years that all tasks have been accomplished and the program has been implemented.

Butkevičius' coalition partner, leader of the Labour Party Viktor Uspaskich, drew attention to the fact that a record number of lawmakers supported Butkevičius. He said he could not remember any previous candidate receiving so much support.

"I would only like to wish you to strengthen the coalition to have more backing not only from the left but also from the right side so that sometimes they also back your good work and remember your good and correct decisions for the sake of the state," Uspaskich said.

Petras Gražulis, elder of the Order and Justice Party, expressed delight over the fact that, in his opinion, the more Butkevičius "is attacked by the opposition and the media, the more his popularity among members of the public grows." But, he added, there would always be plenty of criticism.

Butkevičius now has 15 days to form the Cabinet and present its program which will be presented to the president and parliamentary vote.

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