Opposition calls for PM's scalp

  • 2009-04-29
  • By Adam Mullett
VILNIUS - In a move lambasted by political analysts as a mere trump, the opposition parliamentary group, Order and Justice Party (OJP), has drafted an interpellation against Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. The interpellation follows a similar move a week earlier against Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta by the opposition Social Democrats.

Kubilius dismissed the interpellation.
"I don't think he is worried 's he feels the same as with the interpellation of the finance minister. He thinks the opposition doesn't have any true alternatives, so they are playing only games," the prime minister's spokesperson Ridas Jasiulionis told The Baltic Times .
Valentinas Mazuronis, head of the Order and Justice party and a presidential candidate, told TBT that Kubilius must be held accountable for the state of the country.

"The way our state is going, especially in the economic field, is the wrong way and it is necessary to change this direction because in our opinion, after many laws that we have today, our economic situation is getting worse and worse," he said.

"Our government knows only one way to save money 's to cut money for investment and they do nothing to revive the country quickly. They are just nervous and make the taxes higher and higher. This is the wrong way 's we need to change it. The PM must personally answer to these questions."
Political analyst Kestutis Girnius told TBT it was a game.

"It's a political game 's they don't have any serious expectations of the interpellation happening. Because the Social Democrats have the interpellation against Semeta, they want to show the responsibility should be laid upon the prime minister."
"There is not a chance in hell this could pass 's the coalition has too many votes.
The main reason is that they want to trump the move on the finance minister. Maybe after the presidential elections if they think they had support they might try it, but even that is unlikely," he added.

In the draft interpellation, the OJP has asked Kubilius six questions.
The prime minister is asked to "specify the causes behind the government's failure to take immediate and necessary measures to evade dependence of Lithuania's energy system on Russia."
The OJP said Lithuania could fall hostage to Russia's Gazprom following the shut down of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant at the end of the year.

"Why doesn't the government annul the national investor company Leo LT established under a contract between the government and NDX Energija on founding of the national investor, including all appendixes, which is considered invalid since the moment of conclusion due to its legal regulation that runs counter the Constitution?"

Kubilius is also reproached for the higher education reform now being discussed in parliament. The opposition says the reform "not only violates some provisions of the Constitution but frustrates the university education in Lithuania."

Kubilius, is also asked to accept responsibility for the negative consequences of the overnight adoption of tax reforms, "which caused the country to fail to collect taxes, reduction of expenditures of the state budget by a further 3.3 billion litas (0.96 billion euros) and about 1.5 - 2 billion litas in June, with the tax load ruining small and medium-sized business."

"It is also necessary to reduce bureaucracy 's to make it easy for small and medium sized business. At the moment, the government is only thinking how to get money into the state budget. Now we see the result 's every month we have to cut and cut and cut the budget of our country. We think all economic development will stop and it's necessary to find another way in their anti-crisis plan," Mazuronis said.

"Why is the government without any reasonable motives avoiding the decision to take a loan from the International Monetary Fund?" the interpellation says.
The text will be distributed among other opposition factions before a collection of signatures of members of parliament.

Earlier, the Social Democrats presented opposition groups with the interpellation text against Semeta.