Lithuanian parlt to vote on appointment of top officials during its spring session - BNS REVIEW

  • 2020-03-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Seimas of Lithuania is starting its last full session on Tuesday, with key votes on the appointment of top officials on the agenda.

BNS provides a review of the upcoming key appointments:

HEAD OF THE STATE SECURITY DEPARTMENT. The term of Darius Jauniskis, the incumbent director of the country's State Security Department ends in April. President Gitanas Nauseda has said he's considering several candidates for this position and does not rule out Jauniskis' appointment for a second term.

As the vote nears, the SSD has recently found itself in the spotlight following an intelligence officer's report on alleged collection of information on people within the circle of the then presidential candidate Gitanas Nauseda and also diplomat Vygaudas Usackas during the presidential election campaign.

JUSTICES OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. The Seimas is set to vote on the candidates for Constitutional Court justices during its spring session. And following their appointment, lawmakers will vote on the Constitutional Court's new president. Algis Norkunas, a judge from the Supreme Court, lawyer Giedre Lastauskiene, and also Ingrida Daneliene, the Constitutional Court's chancellor, are proposed for Constitutional Court justices. The terms of Constitutional Court President Dainius Zalimas and Justices Gediminas Mesonis and Vytas Milius expire in March. The Seimas appoints the Constitutional Court's president out of its justices upon the president's nomination.

PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT. The Seimas will vote on a new president of the country's Supreme Court, with acting President Sigita Rudenaite proposed for the position. The president of the Supreme Court is appointed and dismissed by the Seimas upon the president's nomination. The position of the Supreme Court's president has been vacant since July after Rimvydas Norkus was dismissed and left to work at the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

STATE OMBUDSMAN. The term of State Ombudsman Arunas Dulkys ends in April. The head of the National Audit Office of Lithuania is appointed by the Seimas upon the president's nomination. President Nauseda has not revealed yet whether he will nominate Dulkys for a second term, or propose a new candidate.

AMBASSADORS. New ambassadors to key diplomatic missions in Brussels, the United States and Ukraine will be appointed this year. Candidates are usually proposed by the foreign minister but Nauseda will also have to get approval from the government and the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs.

CHILDREN'S RIGHTS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES OMBUDSPERSONS, INSPECTOR OF JOURNALIST ETHICS. The terms of Children's Rights Ombudsperson Edita Ziobiene, Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson Agneta Skardziuviene and Inspector of Journalist Ethics Grazina Ramanauskaite-Tiumeneviene will also end during the parliament's spring session. Ombudspersons are appointed for five years by the Seimas upon nomination of the speaker of the Seimas, and the inspector is appointed for a term of five years by the Seimas from candidates proposed by organizations uniting public information producers, disseminators and journalists.

THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND INNOVATIONS, THE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT SERVICE AND THE SEIMAS CHANCELLERY do not have permanent heads at the moment. The president and prime minister need to agree on the minister and the PPS head. And politicians have not decided yet on the appointment of a permanent Seimas chancellor and are still considering whether to fill that position as the parliament ends, or leave it to the new parliament.

After the president rejected Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis' proposed adviser Lukas Savickas for economy minister, the prime minister said he would not propose a new candidate, and has also vowed to merge the Ministries of Economy and Innovation and Energy in the fall.

The PPS does not have a permanent head since October after Diana Vilyte resigned, and her deputy Jovita Petkuviene is an acting director now. Nauseda says he is considering several candidates for this position. The PPS's head of appointed by the president upon the prime minister's nomination.

The parliament dismissed its former chancellor in January but a new candidate has not been proposes as politicians are considering whether not to leave this decision to the new parliament. The parliament elects its chancellor for five years upon the speaker's nomination.

The Seimas starts its spring session on March 10 and ends it on June 30. It will be LITHUANIA'S XII PARLIAMENT'S LAST FULL SESSION. Lawmakers will gather for an extraordinary session in the fall but a general election will be held in Lithuania in October and a new parliament will be sworn in in November. The parliament's ordinary session ends on Dec 23.