Colleagues back justice minister

  • 2007-09-19
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - Lithuanian Parliamentary Chairman Viktoras Muntianas has defended justice minister Petras Baguska in the wake of recent criticism, which he dismissed as biased.

"He genuinely carries out the functions ascribed and he is performing them quite well. In the current situation, we and I personally am satisfied [that] he is working in a business-like manner," Muntianas told the Ziniu Radijas radio station Sep. 19.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas also expressed his faith in the justice minister, adding he was not considering his removal.

The premier said that Baguska was working hard to reorganize the structure of the Justice Ministry, which would be of benefit to society.

Lithuanian media have been reporting on a supposedly "unbearable atmosphere" within the ministry as a result of the minister's allegedly unusual working methods.

The Civil Democracy Party, which delegated Baguska to the cabinet, is currently the weakest link in the Social Democratic Party-led ruling bloc that also includes the National Farmers' Union and Liberal Centrists.

If Baguska was dismissed, the position could go to the opposition Social Liberals who have been searching for an opportunity to return to power for some time now. In such case, the Social Liberals' leader Arturas Paulauskas would be a likely candidate.