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Published: 26 june 2013 08:18

Lithuanian parliament fails to remove Minister of Healthcare in no-confidence vote

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Lithuania's parliament on Tuesday failed to remove Health Minister Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis of the ruling Social Democratic Party in interpellation.

Fewer than half of Lithuania's 141-seat parliament, i.e., 69 parliamentarians, appeared for the vote on the minister's removal.

Some 38 MPs were in support of the no-confidence vote, 16 were against, seven abstained and eight ballot papers were invalidated.

Members of the ruling parties of the Social Democrats, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, and the Order and Justice party were not present in the vote.

Ousting the minister from the post required votes of at least half of all parliamentarians, i.e., 71.

Earlier on Tuesday, an interpellation commission suggested not accepting Andriukaitis' explanations of his actions and declaring no confidence in the minister.

Seven commission members voted in favor and six were against the proposal.

Among those objecting the minister's answers were two members of the Labor Party, which is a member of the ruling coalition.

"We did not find the minister's answers satisfactory,” Dangutė Mikutienė, chairwoman of the parliamentary Committee for Healthcare, told BNS. “The minister was highly arrogant to question the right of Seimas members to hold the interpellation against him."

In her words, the minister is clearly unwilling to admit his mistakes.

"All he has been doing for the past six months is talk, no actual work," Mikutienė said.

The interpellation against the health minister had been initiated by the opposition Liberal Movement and was signed by 31 parliamentarians including the minister himself.

The interpellation questions mainly focused on the minister's statements about the private medical sector and lower funding for healthcare institutions.

In his answers, Andriukaitis criticized the questions proper, saying that they contained arithmetical mistakes, the statements were unsubstantiated. The minister also remarked, in a sharply ironic tone, that the opposition suddenly learned in what a poor financial state healthcare institutions were.

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