bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 23.01.2017 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuanian ruling coalition set to hold grip on power until the end

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 of 1)

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

Inside the Lithanian Seimas

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Will they stick together until the end or break apart with little to go? And if they stay in the bundle until the new Seimas election next year, will they rub the elbows in the new coalition again?

The answer to the first question is clearer, believe Lithuanian political analysts: power and personal well-being, the adhesive holding the four parties together, will keep the often shaky foundation of the coalition until the very end.

Power is parties’ sweet honey

«Indeed, power, hands on the resources and personal gain are too strong to resist for the most politicians,» says Laurynas Kasčiūnas, a Lithuanian political analyst.

Among the road blocks the coalition of Social Democrats, Order and Justice Party, Labor Party and Electoral Action of Poles has to remove from the road are the newly stitched-up Labor Code, upcoming deliberations of a new budget and even the polarizing issue of illegal migrants, perhaps stomping on the country’s threshold.

The talks that Labour will be the first to slam the door have been most distinct, but they just are not fleshing up yet. Meanwhile, rumours that the ousted-President-turned-MEP Rolandas Paksas-led Order and Justice Party (OJP) will say sayonara to the rest are in the air as long, but, with the parliamentarians, overwhelmingly from the ruling coalition, paving way to having Paksas name on the ballots in Seimas election in 2016 and, possibly, presidential election in 2019, the party seems to go nowhere from the trough of power.

Paksas had been impeached and eventually stripped of his presidential powers back in 2004, following the indictment on perjury and abuse of power.

Much talk, too little action

«You are saying they will slam the door? No one could boot them out, even forcibly,» believes Gediminas Kirkilas, once the Social Democratic Prime Minister and MP now.

The time to shut the door now is just not good, he says.

«Having left the coalition now, they would be devoid of opportunities to boost their ratings ahead of the election. It is always easier to get them growing while in power,» says Kirkilas.

And those, who understand they cannot make it to the Seimas again, won’t tempt their fate, as the grip on power secures a certain status on the social ladder and, well, a decent living.

The last issue sparking sparkles among the four parties is the migrant crisis.

Migrant crisis a divisive issue, but that’s it

Although the parties’ take on it is starkly different- from the embrace by most Social Democrats to ethnical and religious prejudices-fuelled hostility from the Labour Party-the issue, still, will not apparently derail the train of the Coalition.

The Labour, in fact, snub at the notion they are picking political brownies from the stance.

«We raise our party ratings showing the voters what we’ve done in the Coalition. This is a lot more effective way, though, frankly, there are some issues, like that regarding refugees, which we disagree upon. We were against that Interior minister Saulius Skvernelis would speak in Brussels on behalf of Lithuania and give the green light for over a thousand refugees,» Mazuronis was quoted as saying by Lithuanian media.

Lithuania has agreed with the European Commission’s proposal to accept 1105 refugees.

Good-looking women like to pick on?

After the heated exchange in summer with Skvernelis, the Order and Justice Party-delegated minister, Loreta Graužinienė, the Labour Parliament Speaker, has bristled this week against the Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevičius, who is also the chairman of Social Democrat Party.

Unhappy with the new Labour Codex, which has been praised by PM, Graužinienė accused Butkevičius of «power abuse» after he, following the sitting of the Coalition’s Political Council, told unilaterally that the draft will be put for MPs’ voting until mid-December.

A pebble in the Coalition’s wheels, not a boulder on the road, obviously.

Asked what if the Speaker continues scintillating sparks between the Labour and OJP ranks, vying essentially for the same electorate, Kestutis Daukšys, a Labour member, dismissed the fear, noting ironically that Graužinienė is «a good-looking woman.»

«So you know, no wonder she likes to prick,» the MP bantered.

Two ballots ahead will be litmus paper

Paksas, the OJP leader, also poses a major try-out for the Coalition, analysts agree. But, again, hardly the disagreements, if any, will derail the squeaking cart.

As the Parliament, mostly with the votes from the four-party Coalition, voted for Constitutional amendments, paving way to Paksas’ comeback to national politics, another two ballots lying ahead will be the litmus paper on the strength of the Coalition.

Rumours, however, now abound the Labour might turn their back to Paksas in the next ballots.

«We will vote again for the amendments. Why are we portrayed as some evil and unreliable people? What if the Social Democrats will vote against?» wonders Daukšys.

Too few irritants to detest each other

The odds that the ruling coalition will fall apart is «very little», believes Vladas Gaidys, director of market and opinion research center Vilmorus and a well-known Lithuanian sociologist.

«The time for any drastic decisions is just not good now,» he tells BNN. «For any party,» he stresses.

«If the economy were droopy or edging down, then perhaps it would make sense to «wash hands off» and finger at others as the culprits of the deterioration. This is a classic political scenario. But the economic situation remains stable now, with a whopping 74 percent of the population being satisfied with the life. At the level, it has been record-high,» notes the pollster. The new poll will be released next week.

Parties are not embroiled in scandals

That no party has been embroiled in a major scandal or other wrongdoing also signals that the time, again, is not good for anyone’s departure today.

«Maybe the parties could clash over the refugees? But the issue has not shaken up them,» Gaidys says.

The four-member Coalition, he says, should make it to the new Seimas election and «there is a good possibility» that the four will be forming a new Coalition in late 2016, he believes.

«There is not enough irritants to prevent them from talking to each other,» the pollster says.

He also believes that some «populist political movement», founded on nationalist sentiments amid the migrant crisis, might pop up before the election.

Centre-left forces stand better coalition formation chances

Laurynas Kasčiūnas, a political analyst, says he believes the Coalition will last till the end.

«Obviously, the grip on power and what it provides is a very strong adhesive,» the analyst says.«As far the continuation of the same Coalition after the 2016 election is concerned, is hard to predict how things will turn up,» believes Kasčiūnas.

The Social Democrats, he is convinced, will keep up their popularity until the election and «very likely» will be playing one of the «first fiddles» in the formation of a new ruling coalition, he says.

«Characteristically to Lithuania, left-centre political forces usually have stronger coalition-formation capabilities, and it is easier for them to find a common ground,» Kasčiūnas told BNN.

Whether the issue of refugees will be acute through the electoral campaign, remains to be seen, he says.

«Now we just don’t whether it will stand acutely or not a year from now. But it will definitely play certain significance. I doubt if it will be a major factor in the election, though. It might be a hot issue in the future when the migrants might be instigating some cultural clashes. This is obviously not an issue today,» the analyst said.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.2743


Leave a reply

Kudors: Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience

In relations with Russia, Baltics should arm themselves with strategic patience in the next several years, as stated in Latvia’s Foreign Policy Institute’s compilation on Latvia’s external and security policy.

Little precipitation is expected in Latvia this week; frost expected

On Monday, 23 January, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small low atmospheric pressure area. With that, some precipitation is expected in many parts of Latvia: mostly rain and wet snow. Wind will draw in from the south-west and air temperature will stay within 0° C… +4° C, as reported by Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. CIA declassifies document on Lithuania’s post-WWII guerrillas

A report about guerrilla fighting against the Soviet occupation after World War II is among hundreds of thousands of declassified documents published online by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

People no longer believe in their own country, because they associate it with people who make decisions

The biggest threat to Latvia is the fact that society, including state officials, is afraid. People are afraid of change, afraid of voicing their thoughts (thoughts that often do not comply with the politically correct stance), afraid of being misunderstood. Fear makes it harder to develop. It limits people’s internal freedom. Such is the opinion Inga Antane, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics and sworn attorney of Triniti law firm, explained in her interview to Atbalsts.

Expert: «Lithuania’s renewed National Security Strategy is a «hodgepodge»

This week, the Lithuanian Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a renewed National Security Strategy, laying out 14 major hazards and risk factors to national security.

Industry: advertisements contribute the entire economy of the European Union

Every euro invested in advertisement has seven times the influence on a country’s GDP. Every one euro brings seven euros in return to the country’s GDP, as emphasized by Latvian Advertising Association, noting that advertisement sector contributes to employment in all of the European Union.

Six deputies applied with administrative penalties in Saeima’s autumn session

According to information provided to the parliament, six deputies were applied with administrative penalties during Saeima’s autumn session.

Slower economic growth for Estonia forecast – at 2.2% - for 2017

The economic growth of Estonia in 2017 will be slower than previously expected, Swedbank economists have announced lowering their previous economic forecast for the Baltic country by 0.2% to 2.2%.

Latvian and Lithuanian authorities dismantle two criminal groups

Latvian State Revenue Service’s Finance Police has successfully apprehended two organized crime groups that caused significant damage to the state budget in 2015 and 2016 by realizing different VAT fraud schemes.

Estonia to drop special pensions, push forward sweeping pension reforms

The Estonian government has decided to drop special pensions and to push forward with plans regarding other significant changes in the pension system, including tying the retirement age to the average life expectancy.

KNAB performs inspection about Jakrins’ approval in the board of Rīgas satiksme

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau intends to inspect if the approval of acting head of Riga City Council’s Transport Department Emils Jakrins in the management board of Rīgas satiksme had any signs of breach of good management principles.

Chinese GDP up 6.7% in 2016

World’s second largest economy has seen a 6.7% growth in 2016, Chinese official data show, which indicate that the gross-domestic-product increase has been slower than the 6.9% seen in 2015 and the slowest since 1990.

Dozens buried in Italy’s avalanche-stricken hotel

Italy has been shaken by a number of earthquakes this week, one of which has triggered an avalanche burying a mountain hotel, where at least two people have been found dead and dozens more a searched for through rubble and snow.

Weekends to experience frost and thaw; drivers urged to be careful

Weather in Latvia will not be stable in the next couple of days – cloudy weather with some precipitation will be mixed with periods of clear sky, according to State Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Logistics Industry Council assesses results of 16+1 summit

Experts say container cargoes have the potential to bring major contribution to the logistics sector. With that, LDz Logistics intends to continue organizing the next container train from China, as well as cooperate with partners from Belarus and China in the context of the Great Stone industrial park, as BNN was informed by Transport Ministry’s representative Ilze Greiskalna.

Parliament supports amendments to avoid expensive land-measuring actions

It will no longer be necessary to prepare land border plan for entry of land units in the Land Book. It will help save budget funds, as it will not be necessary to perform land-measuring actions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

CP supervisors concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s contract terms

The Competition Council is concerned about Latvijas Gāze’s behaviour in the process of liberalization of the country’s gas market. Economy Ministry has submitted a draft of the Gas Trade and Use Rules to the Cabinet of Ministers Committee for review.

Germany seeks clarity from Trump’s government, to boost military spending

Berlin has emphasised plans to increase defence spending after facing criticism from upcoming U.S. President Donald Trump on NATO countries not meeting their spending commitments.

Saeima re-elects Elita Krumina as State Auditor

On Thursday, 19 January, the Saeima re-elected Elita Krumina in the post of State Auditor.

Saeima supports formation of aircraft passenger data registry to combat terrorism

On Thursday, 19 January, Latvia’s Saeima approved the Aircraft Passenger Data Processing Law in the final reading. This will form the passenger data registry.

Milk retail price in Estonia reaches 55 cents per litre after to price hikes

After a long period of low milk purchase prices in Estonia, milk retail prices in the Baltic country have increased twice, reaching the point where famers receive just enough to cover milk production costs.

Ventspils Freeport carries Lembergs around with luxurious car worth EUR 156,000

In spite of a 16.44% turnover decline, Ventspils Freeport bought a lux-class Audi A8L W12 for EUR 156,000 last year. It’s only known passenger so far has been the formally suspended chairman of Ventspils City Council Aivars Lembergs, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Estonia concludes bilateral defence framework deal with Finland

Estonia and Finland have signed a bilateral defence cooperation framework agreement aiming for closer and more regular cooperation in the field by the neighbouring countries.

Biden: Wealthiest 1% does not pay enough in taxes

The «top 1% is not carrying their weight», outgoing U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden evaluated at the World Economic Forum, insisting the world's wealthiest that they do not pay enough in taxes.

Latvia and Japan sign convention on attraction of foreign investments

In Tokyo, Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister Motome Takisawa signed a convention between the two countries on double taxation prevention for income tax.