Zuokas bows to public pressure

  • 2008-11-13
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS

Most of the posts in the next Lithuanian Cabinet of Ministers have already been decided (Photo by Alma Pater)

VILNIUS -Chairman of the Liberal and Center Union Arturas Zuokas has said that he willnot run for Healthcare Minister after a public outcry against his suitabilityfor a ministerial post.

Zuokas, a former Vilniuscity mayor, said that his decision not to take the post was influenced bypublic doubts over his aptness following a recent conviction on briberycharges.

A Vilnius district court has found Zuokas guilty of attempting to bribe a formermember of Vilnius CityCouncil Vilmantas Drema. The official was forced to pay a 12,500 lita (3,600euro) fine.

The Board of the Liberal and Center Union plans to make a final decision onNov. 14 on which two candidates to propose for health and interior ministers'posts. Responsibility for running these two ministries has been handed over tothe Liberal and Center Union under an agreement of parties forming the rulingmajority.

Though it is still unclear who will take the post of healthminister, a number of other cabinet members have already been decided. Here is a quick look at who will be in the next Lithuanian government:

Ministriesof Homeland Union 's Chrtistian Democrats


ConservativeDainius Kreivys is going to be the new minister for economy, the mostchallenging position regarding a complicated economic situation. He is aneconomy analyst and consultant, and board council chairman for the "Baldenis" furniturecompany.


RasaJuknevičienÄ— is taking Defense minister position. She is a signatory of the Actof the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania and has been a memberof Homeland Union since it was founded. She is in favor of restoring acompulsory military service despite the fact it was made volunteer onlyrecently by social democrats government.


GintarasUÅ¡ackas is going to take the minister for Foreign Affairs position. He is not amember of any political party, but will work as conservative proposed ministerin the government. He is currently a Lithuanian ambassador to the United Kingdom. Before that he was the ambassadorto the United States.


Anew coalition is planning to rename the "Social Defense and Labor Ministry" the"Family and Social Affairs Ministry." The new minister is going to be RimantasDagys, a conservative, who was a member of parliament in 1996-2000, a socialdemocrat at that time, and also a member of outgoing Seimas as a conservative.


Agricultureis going to be governed by Kaziemiras Starkevičius, a conservative MP. He iswell known for organizing his annual Christmas installation in Kaunas.He is an author of his party's Rural Development program.


ArvydasSekmokas is said to be a head of proposed to be established Ministry of Energy.

Ministriesof Liberal Union


RemigijusŠimašius, president of Lithuanian Free Market Institute, accepted a LiberalUnion proposal to be a minister for Justice. He is not a member of anypolitical party.


EligijusMasiulis, the leader of Liberal Union, is going to govern Ministry ofTransport.


GintarasSteponavičius of Liberal Union is going to be a minister for Education andScience.

Ministriesof National Resurrection Party


ActorRemigijus Vilkaitis is a member of the Valinskas'-led National ResurrectionParty and a candidate to become a minister for Culture. He is famous for thecharacters he created, especially the one based on Labour Union leader ViktorUspaskich, for a popular satyric TV show Dviračio Šou. He is also agodfather of Uspaskich's daughter and a close friend of Valinskas.

MINISTERFOR ENVIRONMENT 's yet to be decided

Ministriesof Liberal and Center Union

MINISTERFOR INTERIOR 's yet to be decided

MINISTERFOR HEALTHCARE 's yet to be decided