PM considers Labor Party for vacant ministerial posts

  • 2006-04-13
  • By TBT staff
The Labor Party could fill the two ministerial posts opened up once the Social Democrats withdraw from the ruling bloc, Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said on April 13.

"Under the proportions in Parliament and the seats [the Labor Party] have, we do not have any reasons to object because we already hold five ministerial posts and the post of prime minister," Brazauskas told Ziniu Radijas news radio.
The Social Democrats, led by Arturas Paulauskas, have until now held the positions of foreign minister and social security and labor minister under the Brazauskas-led government. But on April 11, they were recalled after Paulauskas lost his position as parliamentary chairman in a vote of no-confidence.

Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis and Social Security and Labor Minister Vilija Blinkeviciute are currently continuing their duties, although they have already tendered their resignations.
Due to the lack of professionals available, the PM said the ruling majority may invite non-affiliated persons to fill ministerial posts.

"We can take the liberty of inviting truly professional persons, regardless of their party membership," he said, adding that he would ask Blinkeviciute to continue in her current position. "We will see in the future how it should be done - Blinkeviciute is a truly professional person with many years of work in the system. She has extensive experience and enjoys popularity and trust from the population despite her membership in another party, which is not a part of our coalition. Therefore, we will search for ways to keep her in the post," said the PM.

The biggest task ahead of Brazauskas is finding a new foreign minister. When asked if he would approve Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States Vygaudas Usackas' nomination, the prime minister replied: "This figure can be considered."
On April 12, amid political crisis, the leaders of the Social Democratic Party, the Labor Party and the Farmers National Party signed a new coalition agreement.

The document stipulates that Brazauskas will retain his post of prime minister, while Viktoras Muntianas of the Labor Party was nominated for parliamentary chairman. Ministerial portfolios have yet to be negotiated.