Lithuania must decide on cabinet, snap election after NATO summit – Liberals

  • 2023-05-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian parliament must put off its decisions on confidence in the Cabinet and an early general election until after July 11 to ensure political stability in the run up to NATO's summit in Vilnius and amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the board of the Liberal Movement, the conservatives' ruling coalition partner, decided on Saturday.  

The Liberals agree that Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte's Cabinet should submit itself to a vote of confidence in the parliament, but they do not think that a snap election would solve the problem, the party said in a statement.

"We did not agree with the position of the conservatives' presidium and their scenario," Eugenijus Gentvilas, a member of the board, told BNS. "We see it as an attempt to turn individual cases into collective responsibility and lay the blame on the Seimas."  

"We keep saying that we have to be very careful as the NATO summit is approaching and the war in Ukraine is ongoing. Now is probably not the best time to lose the government or to have a caretaker government and start campaigning for an election," he said. 

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, speaker of the parliament and chairwoman of the Liberal Movement, cautioned against hasty decisions.

"We do not rule out the idea of an early election, but in my opinion, these steps should be discussed after the NATO summit, the most important political event of the year," Cmilyte-Nielsen said in the statement.

"It would be irresponsible to turn this gathering into a hostage of domestic politics or an element of an election campaign," she added. 

In effort to deal with an emerging political crisis over the non-transparent use of funds by some municipal politicians, the presidium of the conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats on Friday proposed to initiate an early general election and to consider the Cabinet's resignation if the parliament does not back the initiative. 

Vilnius will host the NATO summit on July 11-12.