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Lithuanian president proposes Skvernelis for PM

  • 2016-11-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite today proposed that the parliament consider Saulius Skvernelis as a candidate for prime minister.

"I have signed the decree to propose the party's (LPGU) list leader as candidate for the position of prime minister," Grybauskaite told the press following a meeting with Skvernelis at the President's Office early Tuesday.

Grybauskaite said she hopes that the new ruling majority will take decisions to better the social security of the country and battle social exclusion.

According to the president, it equally crucial to make decisions to ease economic development — balancing the Labour Code, boosting transparent business, further seeking energy security, and following sustainable financial policies.

The state should be governed in a transparent way "to make people feel that the administration is working for them rather than interest groups," said Grybauskaite, underscoring the need to restructure state-run companies, increase the transparency of public procurement, and continue working against corruption.

Lithuania also needs to amend its education system, strengthen diplomatic relations, and guarantee its preparedness to counter geopolitical challenges, she added.

The president emphasised that she acknowledges her personal accountability for the performance of the future ruling coalition.

"My team and I are willing to help wherever we can to enable the 17th government to work as smoothly as possible in all areas," she told the press. "I will continue to be demanding in a constructive manner — we need the government's decisions to be in line with the Constitution and interests of the state and the nation. This I can promise.”

Skvernelis told the media that he also realised his responsibility to ensure that the people of Lithuania felt the benefits of economic growth and rebuilt their confidence in the nation’s administration.

In his words, the priorities identified by the president were part of the government's programme under preparation.

"From this moment on, the legal procedures of forming the government will commence ... If they result in approval of the governmental programme at the parliament and the government takes office, I will do everything in my power to make this government work for the people of Lithuania, to live up to their confidence so that we could have a normal working atmosphere in the country and superb co-operation among state institutions," asserted the candidate.

Skvernelis, a former police chief and interior minister, was the top candidate on the list of the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union, which triumphed in the October parliamentary elections.

The LPGU political group includes 59 members in the nation’s 141-seat parliament. The group has formed the ruling coalition with the Social Democrats.