Conflict in Seimas of Lithuania: opposition to keep boycotting sittings

  • 2022-06-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania’s parliamentary opposition parties intend to keep boycotting Seimas sittings on Tuesday as they plan to convene in the Hall of the Act of 11 March and follow their own agenda.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen hopes that a dialogue group will be set up on Tuesday and will convene for the first time before the afternoon plenary session.

“According to a preliminary plan, we will take part in a solemn sitting and then will go to the Hall of the Act of 11 March,” Vice-Speaker of the Seimas Jonas Jarutis of the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union told BNS on Monday.

The MP said that their sitting would have a largely symbolic meaning as the issues that would be discussed would not be considered part of the official lawmaking process.

Seimas Speaker earlier asked the political groups representing opposition to delegate their representatives to the so-called dialogue group by Tuesday. The group will search for a consensus that would see the parliamentary opposition resume attending plenary sessions as well as sittings of various parliamentary committees and commissions.

Cmilyte-Nielsen told reporters on Monday that the group could convene as early as on Tuesday.

“Obviously, the will of both parties [to the conflict] is necessary in order to break the deadlock. I truly signal that will on my part and we will see what the response of the opposition will be,” she added.

The ongoing conflict between the ruling parties and the opposition erupted after the Seimas last Tuesday debated an opposition-initiated interpellation for the agriculture minister. As lawmakers were only left to vote on whether to accept the minister's answers, the opposition asked for a recess until the next parliamentary sitting, hoping to change the balance of political forces in the vote on Thursday.

However, the ruling block convened an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday morning and accepted the agriculture minister's answers. In protest, the opposition snubbed the Seimas sitting on Wednesday and held its separate sitting on Thursday.

Later on, the opposition handed a list of demands to Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, saying that if the ruling block continued to disregard them, they would boycott the Seimas until the fall session starting on September 10.

Members of five political groups in the Lithuanian Seimas, a total of 67 MPs, are now boycotting the Seimas. They represent the Labor Party, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the Lithuanian Regions Party, the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, the Democrats "For Lithuania" and the non-attached group.