Vilnius mayor faces interpellation

  • 2009-02-11
  • By Justinas Vainilavicius

SERIOUS ACCUSATIONS: The Vilnius mayor has been accussed of acting on behalf of his party rather than in the city's best interests.

VILNIUS -  Opposition members of the Vilnius city municipality have accused the Vilnius city mayor of not acting in the best interests of the city and called for his resignation.
The right wing opposition factions of the city council submitted an interpellation document saying Mayor Juozas Imbrasas should be discharged from his position.

The document claimed he uses his authority and influence to work on behalf of his party, Order and Justice, and related interest groups 's not solving urgent problems important for the residents of the city. The leader of Order and Justice is the impeached former President Rolandas Paksas.
The conservative Homeland Union 's Christian Democrats, the Liberals' Movement, the Liberal and Center Union and an independent faction are the initiators of the interpellation process. The Social Democratic Party will likely join in the effort to bring Imbrasas down.

This new coalition has already proposed conservative Vilius Navickas as a candidate to replace the embattled mayor. Currently, the Social Democrats are in the ruling coalition with the Order and Justice and the Polish party. The Social Democrats would leave the ruling coalition and support Navickas in exchange for key positions.

"He [Navickas] has the necessary management skills and the right experience to take the job. He used to work in Economy and Budget Committee before," said Raimundas Alekna, the Vilnius City Councilor and the leader of the Conservatives' faction in the council.
"A new majority has already formed, and it will follow the principles that the Vilnius municipality stated in its program 's not chase the better work positions for its members," Alekna said. 

"The inaction of the current mayor's office, and even blackmail elements from the government, keeps sinking the municipality into debt and they fail to see any threats. This makes the financial situation dangerous. For instance, half of the city's 1 billion litas budget is debt. This is the result of recklessly taking loans," he said.
Politicians and special services are on alert to prevent bribery and other illegal actions during the period of intense political maneuvering. Both sides are trying to get as many allies as possible. They have offered the Social Democrats, the third largest faction in the municipality council after Order and Justice and the Conservatives, significant positions 's including vice-mayor and administration director.

"We have offered Social Democrats even better positions, but for some reason our proposition did not reach them," Imbrasas said.
The opposition has decided that the mayor should resign and new authorities elected at the Feb. 11 Council Session should take over. The mayor has postponed the session, however, to Feb. 20. The opposition claims the move is illegal and plans to follow through with the session as planned 's a counter-play that the mayor claims is illegal.
"Postponing the session only shows that they cannot control the situation, but it will happen anyway," Alekna said.

As TBT went to press, the coalition was in the process of voting on Navickas' candidacy to replace the embattled mayor.