bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
LithuaniaLithuania

Post-election flare-ups emerge in Lithuania, as winners build new government

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

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

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Nearly a week after the second round of Lithuania‘s general election, the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LVŽS), the holder of 54 mandates in the141-member Lithuanian Parliament, has not gotten a step closer to agreeing with other political parties on a new Cabinet.

First talks were futile

«Indeed, there has been no progress with the bid. It seems that the limits of possible partners‘ flexibility are being still checked. The initial shots from all the sides are infused with many emotions, perhaps just the Social Democrats (LSDP) are behaving more business-like, although their chances are slim. The emotionality stems from the LVŽS‘ and the Conservatives‘ big pretensions. We definitely will need to wait some time more to see any tangible framework of a new government,» Tomas Janeliūnas, associate professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Sciences (TSPM) at Vilnius University, told BNN.

This week, the Peasants and Greens have hold first talks with the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), or Conservatives, and Social Democrats (LSDP), but left the negotiation table empty-handed.

TS-LKD was the runner-up in the election with 31 Seimas mandates in its hands and LSDP was third with 17 parliamentary seats.

LVŽS has not repudiated its endeavour yet to form a wide ruling coalition encompassing both the Conservatives and the Social Democrats, although the former has bristled against it from the outset, insisting that they do not see themselves together with LSDP members in the same government. TS-LKD is determined to engage the Liberals in new coalition formations talks –the Liberal Movement, unexpectedly to many, was fourth in the vote tally with 14 mandates. However, Liberals‘ leader Remigijus Šimašius, who is mayor of Vilnius, got visibly irked by the Conservatives‘ insistent demand to include the Liberals in the new government and reiterated that the Liberals, whose electoral prospects have been seriously scathed by corruption and influence peddling allegations against the charges-battling former party chairman Eligijus Masiulis, would rather stay in opposition.

Winner may do without major parties?

Against the backdrop, LVŽS chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis‘ statement that the Peasants can «easily»  form a new government without  the Conservatives and the Social Democrats is worth listening, although help of some of the parties on the fringes of the political spectrum would be needed for that.

The Party of Order and Justice and Lithuania‘s Electoral Action of Poles have pocketed eight mandates each; meanwhile, the Labour Party, which failed to overcome the five percent support hurdle in multi-mandate constituency, obtained two seats and there are seven new MPs belonging to little-heard new or ground-losing parties, and some of them are independents.

Janeliūnas, of TSPM, however, doubts whether the Peasants and Greens will resort to aid from the weak and controversial parties and independents.

«There‘re still many emotions, with no party willing to make concessions. But the longer formation of a new coalition drags on, the higher probability that the negotiators will want to rid of some of their demands is,» believes Janeliūnas.

Although some analysts started speculating that reticence for concessions may lead to stalemate and, possibly, formation of a minority government by LVŽS, the TSPM lecturer dismisses the possibility.

«The President (Dalia Grybauskaitė-L.J) wouldn‘t be happy to see a minority government. She has long talked about a Coalition including several major parties,» Janeliūnas noted. «Besides, the Peasants and Greens have said on several occasions they could be in the same boat neither with the Party of Order and Justice nor the Labour Party.»

The President will be closely monitoring the situation, believes Janeliūnas, and will get involved when all the possibilities to hammer out an agreement on new coalition are exhausted.

The Lithuanian Constitution envisions that with parties unable to form new government within two months after parliamentary election, a new election is announced.

Conservatives leader sounds irked

On late Tuesday afternoon, after one-at-a-time talks with the Conservatives and the Social Democrats were over, Povilas Urbšys, the chief LVŽS negotiator, hinted that the latter has been more «constructive and flexible» than the former.

Commenting the meeting with the LVŽS negotiators, Gabrielius Landsbergis, chairman of the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats, sounded quite exasperated.

«Karbauskis (the LVŽS leader) says he and his party members do not know (anything substantial) about our programme. I‘d say that we know each other‘s programmes very well by now. Our programme is very big and wide. They just cannot say that they know nothing about it. If they started to speak that they do not like one thing or another (in it), it would be a sign of the start of negotiations. However, now, instead I see an attempt to delay the decision or simply discard it,» Landsbergis‘ Facebook post reads.

The Conservatives, he claims, wants to start talking with the Peasants about concrete ideas in reconciling both parties‘ programmes, but Karbauskis, in his words, puts brakes on the kind of talks right away.

«Wait, wait, if we start talking about that, then it is the commencement of negotiations, but we want only consultations for now,» he says. «In other words, they want us (Conservatives) to become a loyal witness for all they do and only then negotiations will follow… Their stance is sort of this: «Abide by our rules and then we will see…How one having assumed such a position can expect that there will be anyone willing to join such coalition?» Landsbergis wondered in his post.

Landsbergis will not budge

The Conservatives leader went on guessing what the Peasants foreman pursues with such rhetoric.

«Maybe it is part of their PR and the further purposeful striving to possibly discredit traditional political parties? Or maybe it just purports that they are short in insightfulness? In any case, the behaviour is unprecedented and cannot be accepted by any self-respecting party,» resumed the TS-LKD chairman.

Heeding the notion that Conservatives are too stuck up and reluctant to assume responsibility for the governance of state, Landsbergis defended the stringent party‘s stance in consultations (talks?) with the Peasants, claiming that giving in to Karbauskis, who, in his words, sounds like a person from «another planet», would be tantamount to «a spit»  onto the TS-LKD supporters and voters who believe in the Landsbergis junior-initiated changes and renewal.

Landsbergis seems to be cozying up with an idea of being in opposition.

«The Peasants‘ views are often very opaque and hardly reconcilable even within the party due to the variety of their members who got elected to Seimas…If there does not appear more clarity, we are ready to support all necessary and wise decisions. However, from the stands of parliamentary opposition,» he emphasised.

LVŽS values

Meanwhile, the Peasants‘ chief negotiator, Urbšys, tends to down play the rebukes and claims that, altogether, there is a single major disagreement – over the Liberals‘ inclusion in the new government.

«As the pre-trial investigation against the Liberals (Masiulis) is not over yet- and I would not be surprised to see new investigations against the party members started after the election, therefore we may see new people being incriminated with crimes – we are really concerned about it,» Urbšys said.

The LVŽS has not yet pronounced clearly what political direction is dearer to them in terms of values.

«If we were to speak of social justice, then we are nearer to the Social Democratic ideology. And we are speaking about the traditional values, which we link with the preservation of traditional family and language, then we are on the right,» Urbšys echoed the LVŽS leader‘s words.

Is Conservatives leader cocky?

Some analysts, like Kęstutis Girnius, tend, however, to support the Peasants in their dealings with the Conservatives, arguing that Landsbergis junior is just too arrogant and haughty.

«The arrogance and aggressive stance that Gabrielius Landsbergis assumed in talks has just enhanced his negative image. I don‘t understand why the Conservatives have created such cult of personality in his person, when they have many respectable politicians in their ranks, like deputy party chairwoman Irena Degutienė or Ingrida Šimonytė, former Finance minister…For some reason, it was forgotten that Gabrielius (Landsbergis) is associated with his grandfather Vytautas Landsbergis (who is called the patriarch of Lithuania‘s modern politics), who albeit the smith of Lithuanian independence, yet remains one of the most unpopular Lithuanian politicians,» Girnius emphasised.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.4233


Leave a reply

Latvia has the highest index of female CEOs among EU member states

The highest index of female CEOs among European Union member states belongs to Latvia – 47%. In total, only 33% of CEOs in EU were female last year, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Survey: more and more people take notice of benefits provided by EU membership

65% of Latvian residents believe the country’s membership in the European Union has brought tangible benefits. A similar opinion was voiced by 64% of residents of all EU member states in the Eurobarometer study performed by the European Parliament.

17 persons in need of international aid are relocated to Latvia from Turkey

On Tuesday, 17 October, seventeen individuals, including nine children, in need of international protection were relocated to Latvia from Turkey as part of EU resettlement programme, as confirmed by Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

BATL: to avoid crisis in transit sector, government and Transport Ministry must act

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ led Latvian Ports, Transit and Logistics Council also supports Saeima’s National Economy Committee’s decision on the need for Transport Ministry to develop a long-term vision for the development of the country’s transit industry.

Psychologist: six-year-old children are not ready for school

«It is wrong to believe that the sooner a child starts going to school, the better their academic results will be. Reforms are performed aggressively, without asking pedagogues or other specialists for their opinion. We lack a comprehensive analysis of the current situation that would be based on studies, not international ratings,» says certified clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Jolanta Lamstere.

Klaipeda transport ticketing system to be installed by Estonian Ridango

In the Lithuanian port city of Klaipeda, Estonian firm Ridango has been selected for installing its technology on public transport.

Policeman in Malta posts he's happy about killing of journalist Galizia

In Malta, where an investigative journalist has been killed this week, a police sergeant has posted on Facebook he felt happy about her death and has been suspended from office a day after.

Exchange indexes reach new records; oil prices increase as well

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index reached new record-high values on Tuesday, 17 October. US dollar value before euro and Japanese yen increased.

Anti-corruption protesters in Ukraine push for reforms

Three protesters and a policeman have been injured in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a crowd of anti-corruption demonstrators voiced their demands for reforms aimed at tackling corruption in the country.

«Islamic state» capital conquered by Syrian Democratic Forces

An alliance of Syrian-Kurdish fighters, which is supported by the U.S., has stated it has gained full control of Raqqa, which has been for three years the centre of the «Islamic state» regime.

Poland hopes Turkey would join EU

Polish President Andrzej Duda meeting his Turkish counterpart shortly before an European Union-Turkey summit has expressed a hope that the country located at the cross-roads between Europe and the Middle East would join the EU some time.

Number of people at risk of poverty in Baltics in higher than the average in EU

The ratio of people subjected to poverty or social exclusion risk in Baltic States is higher than the average in the European Union, according to Eurostat data compiled for 26 out of 28 member states in 2016.

E-voting defended in Estonia after criticism from party leader

Responding to claims from a leader of an Estonian political party that the country’s e-voting system lacks transparency, the head of e-Government Academy’s e-democracy department explained it was possible that the voters of one party are more active e-voters than supporters of other parties.

Residents’ mood worsens; people become more critical about their finances

Over the course of the past month, residents’ general mood has worsened significantly – declines have been noted on all positions analysed by the survey. Residents were critical the most in the survey about their material state – the index in this category declined from -9 to -11, according to the latest Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Antāne: Saeima’s National Economy Committee has heard the transit industry’s cry

Inga Antāne, president of Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics, is satisfied with the decision that was made at the recent meeting of Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, asking the Transport Ministry to develop and present a sustainable development strategy for the industry and putting an emphasis on raising the competitiveness of railway tariffs.

Latvian’s attitude towards combating cancer in late stages seems irresponsible

The attitude towards combating cancer in late stages in Latvia remains very low, says former healthcare minister of Latvia Ingrīda Circene.

Hydrogen-powered transport technology – a reality in Latvia

There are plans to establish a hydrogen refuelling station in Riga before the end of 2017. A publicly available H2 refuelling station in Riga would secure an inter-state network of hydrogen refuelling stations: the closest other station will be established in Pernava, says Association Zero Emission Mobility Support chairman Arnis Bergs.

Estonian ministry to collect 270 000 euros from IT company over failure to build information system

Tieto Estonia, the Estonian branch of Finnish IT firm group Tieto will compensate the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs 270,000 euros for the failure of the SKAIS2 project, the aim of which was the development of a new information system for the Estonian social insurance authority, but was deemed a failure in August.

Latvia invites Iran to act constructively to ensure security

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where he discussed about the role of Iran in the region and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in light of the upcoming report from US President Donald Trump to the Congress on Iran’s progress realizing the plan.

Vigil held in Malta over killing of investigative journalist

Several thousand people in Malta have taken part in a vigil held after news broke of the killing of an investigative journalist, who blamed Maltese government for corruption.

American exchange indexes reach record-high values; oil prices on the rise

In response to price rise of bank stocks, three leading indexes of US exchanges reached new record heights on Monday, 16 October. In addition, US Federal Reserve System manager Janet Yellen’s prediction regarding a soon inflation rise has increased confidence that base interest rate will increase in December.

54.14% more alcohol exported from Latvia; most of it to Russia

In the first eight months of 2017, a total of 102.259 million litres of alcoholic drinks was exported from Latvia, which is 54.14% more when compared with the same period of last year.

In pictures: Ireland hit by worst storm in 50 years

Three people have been killed in Ireland in the storm Ophelia, which cut off electricity networks to 120 000 homes and businesses in the country. Gusts of wind in Ireland on Monday, October 16, had reached the speed of 44 metres per second.

Tragic wildfires in Portugal and Spain

No less than 30 people have died in wildfires in Portugal and Spain.

Ašeradens to leave Latvian government at the end of November

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens intends to leave the government after approval of the 2018 budget in the Saeima, which is scheduled for the end of November, as confirmed by Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.