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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 09.12.2022, 14:32

Lithuania's HU-LCD, Liberal Movement, Freedom Party sign coalition agreement

BC, Vilnius, 09.11.2020.Print version
The leaders of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party have on Monday signed an agreement on the formation of a new ruling coalition, informs LETA/BNS.

"We stand determined to take joint effort to restore confidence in the state and among people and we are entering into this agreement on coalition cooperation and formation of a government," the document reads.

The coalition partners also pledged to support the coalition government led by Ingrida Simonyte. "I am grateful to the coalition partners for a swift, effective and constructive process as we have had a bit more than a week of discussions, and now other stages are ahead of us, the discussion on positions, personalities and the key work, the government's program," Gabrielius Landsbergis, the HU-LCD leader, said.

The candidate for prime minister, Simonyte says the parties have only agreed on the prime minister's position, adding that the proportion on how political positions will be divided and proposed personalities remain subjects of negotiations.

Simonyte also confirmed that a major part of candidates for ministers and parliament positions should be known by the first parliament sitting on Friday. "As soon as we agree on ministers, we will inform about that. And now we are saying that we have agreed and approved that with signatures, and that I am being proposed for prime minister. No other candidates have been agreed on yet," Simonyte said, asked about the composition of the future Cabinet.

In her words, it has also not been agreed yet on specific proportions for the allocation of positions, although the principles are defined in the agreement, giving more weighting to the position of prime minister and speaker of the Seimas. Other positions should be distributed in proportion to the seats in the Seimas. "We need to agree on that as well, the agreement contains certain matters that the speaker of the Seimas and prime minister have more weight, and there's such an objectively-existing size as the political group size ratio, and we cannot completely ignore it. But I hope we won’t need to round up people to decimal places as people do not round up," Simonyte said. "We will just seek agreement that would be fairly comfortable for all coalition partners."

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, leader of the Liberal Movement, confirmed that her party would pursue the parliament speaker's position. And she is mentioned as a candidate for that position. "We have said that taking into account the long-standing political tradition, and I believe we have a basis to seek that position. But, once again, all positions are still on the negotiating table today and I wouldn’t want to run ahead of events," Cmilyte-Nielsen said.

Ausrine Armonaite, leader of the Freedom party, confirmed she had already proposed to the candidate for prime minister around ten people for ministers. "We hope that some 80-90 percent of the proposals we submitted, we have the partners' word, will be included into the government program. It's important who and how will implement it, and I have already suggested to the candidate for prime minister some ten candidates for ministers in various areas. We are not clung to any position, we want to have as good candidates as possible to take those positions," Armonaite said.

Landsbergis also underlined that "objectively, Friday is that date when we will need to have something".

"Even if we don’t agree on anything else, we need to agree on the Seimas speaker by Friday," he said.

Landsbergis says here have been no talks with other parties on support during the vote on Seimas speaker as there's no candidate yet, adding that "when the candidate is clear, the normal tradition is to invite parties that are in the minority to support the candidate as speaker of the Seimas represents the whole of the Seimas, including the minority."

In the document, the parties forming the center-right coalition, identify their value-based commitments, key priorities, tasks for the nearest period, and the procedure for drafting the new government's program.

The agreement also identifies issues important for individual partners the coalition partners have no common agreement on. They include amendments on the de-Communization of public spaces; the legalization of the spelling of names; using all Latin letters; free-of-charge provision of information on legal entities to the media from the Center of Registers; the ratification of the Istanbul Convention; decriminalization of the possession of a small amount of drugs; as well as amendments on "the legalization of gender-neutral partnerships based on mutual responsibility and voluntary determination to accept rights and duties", and let persons run for parliament from the age of 21.

After the agreement is signed, negotiations on the future government's program as well as ministerial and parliament positions will be launched.

The new government should be led by Ingrida Simonyte, the leader of the HU-LCD candidate list for the recent parliament election. The new coalition will have 74 out of 141 seats in the Lithuanian parliament.

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