bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 21.11.2017 | Name days: Andis, Zeltīte
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuanian political parties gets engulfed in «refreshment» frenzy

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Lithuanian political establishment is seeing something yet unseen: the silver-haired chairmen of major Lithuanian parties are nodding nearly in unison to youth, and if not for it, so definitely for change.

The powerful Lithuanian Conservative Party, known as Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD) is still cosying up with the new chairman, a boyish looking 33-year-old Gabrielius Landsbergis, the grandson of Vytautas Landsbergis, dubbed the patriarch of the party and post-Soviet Lithuania’s politics. And the others mull following the Conservatives’ footsteps.

SDP may see young leader soon, too

Don’t get duped by the pretty face lines of Gabrielius: the man sits as an MEP in the European Parliament and his drawn stern EU-Russian relations strategy amid the new geopolitics has drawn awe across the aisles. Oh, yes, Gabrielius is a father of four, a tangible embodiment of the Conservatives’ family policies.

Following the shake-up of the HU-LCD top (most of the new chair’s deputies are thought to be in their late thirties-early forties), the ruling Lithuanian Social Democrat Party (SDP), the other pillar of Lithuanian political establishment, has also scrambled to talk of the party’s «refreshment».

Obviously, it has to start off with the leaders, so, catching with the tune, Algirdas Butkevičius, the SDP chairman, said on Thursday, April 30, he wants to see a young politician replacing him.

Well, not just yet, but high public support enjoying Butkevičius insisted he will «bring up» the subject at the party’s convention this Friday, April 1.

And furthermore, the social-democratic Lithuanian PM lined up potentially new herdsmen of the party: Mindaugas Sinkevičius, the mayor of the Jonava Municipality, Gintautas Paluckas, Vilnius deputy mayor, Juras Požėla, a parliamentarian, Justas Pankauskas, Butkevičius‘ advisor and Ramūnas Burokas, the leader of Lithuania‘s young Social Democrats.

The laborists also beat the chord of «refreshment», but, unlike the Conservatives and Social Democrats, they are courting Valentinas Mazuronis, an agile sexagenarian, MEP and one of the former fulcrums of the Order and Justice Party that he left in disagreements with the party chairman, Rolandas Paksas.

If the grassroots does not bristle against the plan, stitched up hurriedly to salvage the Labor Party by its Honour Chairman Viktoras Uspaskichas,Mazuronis should start orchestrating the Laborists already in summer.

To remind, the country’s Liberal Movement, showering lately in the dazzling popularity in the polls, have long been rubbing shoulders with youth: Eligijus Masiulis is 41 like the new Vilnius mayor Remigijus Šimašius and Antanas Guoga, the Liberals‘ star, currently a MEP and an expected Liberals’ candidate in 2019 presidential elections, is 42.

«New topics are necessary»

But in the limelight for now is still G. Landsbergis, with the commentators often going to extremes in their analysis on yet until recently pretty much unknown politician.

Yes, the underlying argument is still there the same: the junior Landsbergis reaps the brownies of his grandfather’s prominence. This is hard to deny and the argument of «Landsbergis dynasty» will obviously jaunt the Conservatives’ new star.

«The reasoning on the topic will taper off or perhaps stop when he (Gabrielius Landsbergis) after warming up in the HU-LCD chair seat will start outlining his policies, especially if he comes with some big ideas, reverberating across the party and the society in general. Shortly, he still has to make name for himself, but as soon as he starts doing it, the ancestry thing will dim,»predicted Rimvydas Valatka, a well-known Lithuanian analyst.

As if echoing, G. Landsbergis has already pointed out after the election that besides the «traditional subjects», which like state security, state defence and energy security, have always been important for the party, a«wider spectrum of themes» must appear.

Among the new themes for the parliamentary election next year, he said, could be social welfare, education, emigration and striving to get the thousands of Lithuanian emigrants back home.

Gabrielius Landsbergis garnered 5192 votes in the election runoff, leaving Irena Degutienė, the runner-up, with 4094 votes in her favour.

By the way, when elected, G. Landsbergis offered her the deputy chairman’s position, which Degutienė accepted.

In his one of the first in-depth interviews to the daily Lietuvos Rytas, G. Landsbergis explained his resolve to lead the party and seek a seat in Lithuanian Parliament next year by the reason that it gives more «self-realization» and allows do more.

«The review of the party’s results to the European Parliament and municipal councils gives an impression the HU-LCD skids off and does not move forward unable to cohere. It seems there are leaders and all have ideas and clear provisions of the programme, but, obviously, there is a need for renewal- a fresh view, new energy and new ideas,» G. Landsbergis told.

He is set to continue his stint in Brussels and has said he will step down from the stint before the parliamentary election campaign is kicked off.

This has drawn some irk from some of the Conservative Party’s stalwarts –Jurgis Razma, who also contended for the HU-LCD chairperson seat, rebuked G. Landsbergis the further stay in Brussels might be against the party’s « best interests.»

New HU-LCD head to touch up party image

In the interview, G. Landsbergis admitted that there is «perhaps» some «arrogance» in the party, also « moments of judgmentalism»

«People tend to vote for politicians with whom they can relate themselves and see their reflection in them. It is hard to relate yourself with someone who portrays himself of herself as mistake-proof, someone who condemn,» the 33-year-old noted.

Gabrielius Landsbergis believe he can present himself differently.

«But obviously joint efforts are needed in the regard, I hope I will be able to convince my colleagues that we have to be more understanding,» he said.

He suggested he disagrees with those who insist that the party’s so-called «Talibs», preaching the fundamental, Christian religion-based views within the party, may try to break away.

«I believe that the party will remain united and stable. All the flare-ups of emotions have to fizzle away, in fact, all the social media has been triggering them quite a lot. But now we all ought to look forward, not backwards,» G. Landsbergis said.

When faced with the example of the British Conservatives’ leader, David Cameron, who has been quite liberal on some hot social issues, like same-sex partnerships, the new HU-LCD leader suggested «inner discussions» are necessary for issues like this.

«I believe that, first, we have to let to weigh on the issue like this to experts of social affairs, also hear the party leader and all the grassroots. I’d stick with the single approach in the party,» G. Landsbergis emphasized.

HU-LCD likely to be in Liberals’ shadows until Seimas election

Rimvydas Valatka says the HU-LCD has been «forced» by the «circumstances» to let the new party leader «jump over several generations”, which is seen as a “drastic step.”

«The result of the shuffle remains yet to be seen and can be predicted neither by the Conservatives themselves, nor us, the public. It might work and it might not. The gist is not about age, but the capability to govern others. So in that sense, it won’t be easy at all for Gabrielius Landsbergis to reign up the different layers of the party,» Valatka told BNN. He added: «There are quite a few influential Conservatives in the party who will be willing to weigh in on the party’s management.»

The analyst notes G. Landsbergis is «very little known» until now: «There have been few public appearances by G. Landsbergis even before the EU Parliament election.»

At the moments, the Liberals, he says, are «a lot more likeable» than the other parties, including the HU-LCD, and the latter’s staying in the Liberals’ shadow might last for quite some time.

«The Liberals have won already against the Conservatives and the former are likely to be rolling high until the parliamentary election in 2016. A sinister omen for the Conservatives,» Valatka said.

Still, junior Landsbergis has got « an advantage»

Tomas Janeliūnas, a political analyst and associate professor at Lithuania’s International Relations and Political Sciences, told BNN that the «first half-year» of the chairmanship will define Gabrielius Landsbergis’ leadership skills and potential.

«It will be hinged much on how much time he will have for direct meetings with the party’s branches. I don’t think that his stay for now in Brussels could make any harm to the party. Look, no asks the question how the Brussels stint by Rolandas Paksas affect Order and Justice Party he’s been chairing for over a decade,» Janeliūnas said.

He says that the advantage of G. Landsbergis is that he has nothing to do with the legacy of the HU-LCD, which, according to the analyst, would often« haunt» the party from one election to another.

«The former party leader (Andrius Kubilius) has dealt a lot with his legacy as prime minister and often it worked against him,» the analyst noted.

He downplays the argument that junior Landsbrgis is carried by his famous grandson.

«It has helped, but that would have been not enough if he appeared unattractive to the voters,» the analyst said.

Janeliūnas, however, suggested that the current stagnation within the party can hardly get shaken off before the election to Seimas next year.

«In the light of the surge of Liberals and high support for the Social Democrats, it forebodes nothing good for the Conservatives,» he predicted.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.1459


Leave a reply

Study: taxes for business in Latvia – the most attractive among Baltic States

Latvia’s tax system is the most attractive among Baltic States and 13th most attractive among 190 countries of the world, according to the latest study performed by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers on tax systems around the world.

Turkish journalist punished with prison term for tweet

A court in Turkey has sentenced on Tuesday, November 21, a journalist from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to three years behind bars over accusations of spreading terrorist propaganda in relation to a post on Twitter, which had been briefly on the microblogging site this spring.

Latvia – 35th country in the world ICT development-wise

This year Latvia reached 35th place in the world in terms of development of information and communication technologies, as mentioned in the latest report by UN International Telecommunication Union.

Instant payment infrastructure comes online in Europe

On Tuesday, 21 November, instant payment infrastructure will be introduced across Europe. On top of that, European banks’ founded EBA Clearing will also introduce its RT1 instant payment system. The European-level solution has also been coordinated with the instant payment processing infrastructure prepared by the Bank of Latvia in August 2017, as reported by the bank.

Police dismantle criminal group that caused damage worth seven million euros to the state

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police dismantled a criminal group in November 2017. A total of 34 searches were performed and two people were found suspect. The criminal group performed tax avoidance and money laundering operations, causing damages worth nearly seven million euros to the state, BNN was informed by SRS.

Zariņš: deputies who vote for the state budget without amendments will have breached their vows

It is unacceptable for the Saeima coalition to follow the Cabinet of Ministers and like the Cabinet of Ministers breach laws during the budget approval process, says Saeima member Ivars Zariņš, adding that deputies who vote for the budget without amendments will thereby have to breach the vow they had previously made to the Latvian nation.

Estonia’s ruling Centre Party shows door to 31 competing members

The leadership of Estonia's Center Party has accepted the proposals of the party's local branches on fellow members, who ran in the Estonian municipal elections this autumn from a separate list, and expelled 31 members from the political party.

Pabriks: state interests should be held higher than party interests

Latvia cannot be allowed to drown in provincialism. It is in the country’s interest to maintain a course towards European and NATO values. In a situation when the number of centric and European-oriented parties is large, it is becoming harder and harder, because it leads to political fragmentation, and the main goal of it is reaching the 5% barrier during elections, not ensuring growth and development for Latvia, says MEP Artis Pabriks.

Reacting to e-commerce growth, Omniva rushes to expand its parcel locker network

Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post, which operates the Omniva brand, stated that it will broaden its network of parcel lockers expand its current parcel machines up until Christmas.

Programme: introduction of ‘honest’ taxi counters is stuck

Taxi drivers that had to replace their counters as far back as 15 October, continue delaying the process, as reported by De Factor with reference to State Revenue Service.

Ministry considers reorganizing Latvian Environmental Protection Fund’s administration

After reviewing information from the State Audit, Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry may consider the possibility of reforming the administration of the Latvian Environmental Protection Fund.

Uber to buy 24 000 self-driving Volvo XC90s

U.S. ride-sharing technology firm Uber has agreed with Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker Volvo on the purchase of up to 24,000 self-driving cars.

Snow expected in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will be cloudy at the beginning of the week and, although the sun may appear every now and then precipitation, precipitation is expected in most of the country. It will begin with rain and gradually move up to wet snow and snow, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lengthy German coalition talks collapse

The German political parties that entered the country’s federal parliament after elections in September, still cannot reach an agreement on making a coalition and a majority government, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has evaluated that new elections would be better than a minority government.

airBaltic carried more than 4,780 in flights between Riga and Liepaja

In the first six months since airBaltic has started performing regular domestic flights between Riga and Liapaja more than 4,780 passengers have been carried on this route.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian parliament passes Magnitsky act

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

BNN summary of the week: medicinal cannabis in Lithuania, cargo anti-record, and Lemberg’s dwindling influence in UGF

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Fight; Growth; Truth; Future and Opinion.

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Newest comments