VILNIUS - Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda expects Saulius Skvernelis to propose a new candidate for economy and innovation minister when the prime minister is back to work after his vacation, the president's advisor said on Tuesday.
"The president is waiting for a candidate," Povilas Maciulis told reporters.
There is still time for a new candidate to be nominated, because the new minister, if approved, will not be sworn in by the Seimas until the start of the parliament's spring session on March 10, he noted.
"The president expects that the prime minister will be able to nominate his candidate on his return from vacation," the advisor said.
Maciulis said the president favored the idea of merging the Energy Ministry with and the Economy and Innovation Ministry, but added that it was up to the prime minister to decide on such issues.
Last week, Nauseda did not approve Lukas Savickas, an advisor to Skvernelis, for the job of economy and innovation minister.
The president said Savickas lacked the practical experience required to carry out important tasks in the remaining months until next fall's parliamentary election.
Skvernelis said, however, that the president had rejected his candidate because of his row with the ruling bloc over Transport Minister Jaroslav Narkevic, rather than because of Savickas' professional competence.
Under the Constitutions, ministers are nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the president.
The post of economy and innovation minister has been vacant since last December, when Virginijus Sinkevicius took office as Lithuania's European commissioner.