Parliament reopens vetoed amendments

  • 2009-02-20
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS

The prime minister (right) is standing by amendments vetoed by the president (left) (Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Lithuania).

VILNIUS 's TheLithuanian parliament has reopened debates over amendments to the Civil ServiceLaw despite a Feb. 17 presidential veto.

Though the amendments are back on the table, the oppositionSocial Democratic Party has been successful in postponing the issue untilparliaments spring session, which starts on March 10.

The amendments would give an incoming government eliminatesecretary of state and undersecretary positions 's currently held byprofessional diplomats 's in each ministry, to be replaced by deputy ministersand ministry chancellors. The new positions would be filled by politicalappointees.

"Ministers should be empowered to have political teams in order toensure more rational implementation of political programs of one or anotherruling coalition. Such post-election changes take place in many a country, andare of far more significant scale," Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius toldjournalists.

"Take, for example, how the U.S.administration changed after the presidential elections. We are seeking to makechanges of far less significance," he said.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, however, vetoed aversion of the bill just days before it was again brought before Parliament.Presidential advisor Lauras Bielinis said the changes in leadership atministries would lead to problems with policy continuity and cut down onpolitical neutrality in public service, the Baltic News Service reported.

Under the new laws, top ministry positions would be filled bypolitical appointees and would be replaced each time there is a change ingovernment.