Sekmokas survives no-confidence vote

  • 2011-03-11
  • TBT Staff

Sekmokas survived the no-confidence vote after being grilled by parliamentarians over his handling of the dispute with Gazprom.

VILNIUS - Lithuanian Energy Minsiter Arvydas Sekmokas has survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament with 66 MPs in support of the minister and 53 against.

Opposition parties forced the high-profile vote on the heels of the resignation of Economy Minister Dainius Kreivys, who stepped down earlier this week amid a conflict of interest scandal.

"I think the interpellation procedure is being abused because the opposition and other Seimas institutions have sufficient instruments for parliamentary control… In this respect, the opposition is probably hoping for cheap public attention to its initiatives as interpellations get considerably more media attention than just ordinary questions to ministers,” prominent political commentator Tomas Janeliunas told the Baltic News Service.

Ahead of the vote, Sekmokas was grilled by parliamentarians on his work to date. Many of the questions centered on the country's recent spat with Russian gas giant Gazprom, which has begun to charge increased rates to Lithuania.

"We have to negotiate and agree on a fair price for gas...I am convinced that the gas price will decline and fall this year, as determined by the Lietuvos Dujos privatization contract," the minister said.