Adamkus lashes out at government, Cabinet

  • 2005-07-13
  • Staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - President Valdas Adamkus marked the first anniversary of his second term in office by berating Parliament and the government for failing to work for the benefit of the state. "Unfortunately, current parliamentary activity shows that the party system is experiencing a deep crisis. Parties often compete with ambitions rather than with ideas," he said in a speech on July 12.

"Many times I have pointed to the fact that Parliament's immediate work 's legislation 's is actually a series of small-scale technical adjustments without any adequate approach to state business. It is evidenced by the fact that Parliament quite often fails to come to an understanding with the government, by whom it was appointed," he said.

Nor was the government spared Adamkus' indignation. "I have always spoken in favor of a stable government, one that is capable of making decisions in the interests of the state and of its people. But if stability and survival have become the government's only purpose, it loses all sense."

When asked about the current government, which has been shaken by scandals and two resignations, the president dodged a direct reply.

"I think that there is no point in pursuing further talks on this topic. You are following every step of the government and of the coalition. Political scientists make their own conclusions. I speak for the principle that the government should be efficient, and I would like to see it strong and working for the benefit of the Lithuanian people," Adamkus said.

The president also used the opportunity to remind his compatriots of problems facing the judiciary.

"Three months ago I accentuated in my annual report that court independence lies in the foundation of a legal state. The courts are given every guarantee of independence, but that does not mean that this institution must become a system totally out of control and closed-up," he said.

"The public has the right to know the legal arguments behind certain decisions at least in the most notable cases. There has been no response to my words so far," Adamkus said.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Speaker Arturas Paulauskas admitted that the ruling coalition was rocked by tension.

"I would lie if I said that there was no tension, as conclusions unfavorable to the Labor Party's leader are influencing moods and decisions" in the coalition, he told journalists July 8 after Parliament approved an ethical judgment on Labor Party leader Viktor Uspaskich.

The judgment stated that the former economy minister had become enmeshed in a conflict-of-interest deal with Moscow officials and for pressing business information centers to make the Lithuanian Business Employers' Confederation a stakeholder. Uspaskich had earlier been president of LBEC.