Lithuanian parliament approves former finance minister, Conservative electoral roll leader Ingrida Šimonīte as prime minister, reports portal LRT.lt.
62 deputies of the Seimas voted in favor of approving the non-partisan candidacy of 46-year-old Ingrida Šimonīte, ten voted against and 41 deputies abstained.
Consequently, the parliament gave the green light to entrust the formation of the government to the President of Lithuania Gitana Nauseda. She will then have 15 days to set up her own cabinet, which will have to be approved by the president, and then the composition and program of the government will have to be approved by parliament.
On November 18, Šimonīte named almost all the candidates for the positions of ministers of the incoming government, but on Tuesday before the vote she informed the journalists also about the candidate for the position of the Minister of Agriculture. Consequently, Šimonīte has named all the candidates for ministerial positions.
In her address to the parliament on Tuesday, Šimonīte thanked the deputies for their kind words and also their criticism. Responding to complaints about Covid-19’s crisis management and team selection, she said that when selecting candidates for ministerial posts, she assessed all the qualities, abilities to cope with the challenges ahead, while Covid-19 is not dealt with by the authorities but by the people.
Šimonīte also said that she personally takes responsibility for all ministers.
“We in the coalition reached an agreement that if a shadow of suspicion falls over someone from the cabinet and he decides not to resign, then according to this logic, I will have to go myself. I am ready to take on this responsibility, “said the Prime Minister.
Shimonite was nominated as prime minister by a center-right coalition consisting of the conservative “Fatherland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats” and two liberal parties, the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party, which have a total of 73 out of 141 votes in parliament.
All the members of the coalition who participated in the meeting and 5 non-partisan people’s servants voted for him.
Until the last moment, it was not clear whether the coalition would have enough votes to approve Šimonīte, as several members of the coalition could not participate in the sitting due to self-isolation. However, several members of the opposition did not vote. As a result, fewer votes were needed to get the simple majority needed to approve the prime minister.
For example, the opposition Labor Party said the party respected voters’ choices and would not interfere in forming a government at a time when the country was facing a difficult situation due to Covid-19.
The new government will replace the cabinet of ministers headed by Prime Minister Saulius Skverneelis, which consists of the Central Union of Farmers and Greens and the Social Democratic Labor Party.
The candidate for prime minister once gained public trust and sympathy as the Minister of Finance of the Conservative government from 2009 to 2012, later also Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, was elected to the Seimas in 2016, but lost to Nauseda in the second round of last year’s Lithuanian presidential election. .
Lithuanian Seimas elections winning party “Fatherland Union – Christian Democrats” undertook to form the next government. The priorities of the incoming government will be the fight against the coronavirus Covid-19 and next year’s state budget.
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