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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 29.05.2023, 01:02

Lithuanian parliament approves Simonyte for prime minister

BC, Vilnius, 24.11.2020.Print version
The Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday gave the green light for President Gitanas Nauseda to appoint Ingrida Simonyte as prime minister, wirtes LETA/BNS.

Sixty-two members of the Seimas voted in favor, ten against and 41 abstained. 

It was not clear until the last minute whether there would be enough votes to approve her candidacy.


The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, the biggest opposition group in the new parliament, said they could not support Simonyte's candidacy because she has not given an outline of her government's program and because they are concerned about her choice of candidates for ministers. 

Ausrine Norkiene, chairwoman of the Farmers and Greens' group, said the new majority has no plan for getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

Gintautas Paluckas, leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party (LSDP), said their group could not support what is probably "the most rightist" government in Lithuania's history, adding that statements by some of the candidates for ministers run counter to the Social Democratic values and attitudes.

Vigilijus Jukna, chairman of the Labor Party's parliamentary group, said his group respects the will of voters and we will not hinder the formation of the new government at a time when the country is going through a difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Conservative MP Mindaugas Linge said that Simonyte is best prepared for the role of prime minister.

Simonyte, on her part, thanked the members of the Seimas for their support and criticism. 

The would-be prime minister said she is assuming personal responsibility for all her candidates for Cabinet posts.

"We have agreed in the coalition that if a Cabinet member refuses to step down when a controversy arises, then, in accordance with this logic, I will have to leave myself. I am ready to take on this responsibility," she said.

Simonyte was proposed for prime minister by the center-right coalition of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party. 

The three parties hold 73 seats in the 141-member Seimas, but all of the Liberal Movement's parliamentarians and Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the Liberal speaker of the Seimas, have been quarantined at home due to COVID-19. 

If appointed by Nauseda as prime minister, Simonyte will have up to 15 days to form her Cabinet and have it approved by the president and present the government and its program to the parliament for approval. 

Born in Vilnius in 1974, Simonyte is an economist by profession. She started her career as an economist at the Finance Ministry and worked her way up to the position of finance minister in the Cabinet of conservative Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in 2009 to 2012.

Simonyte served as deputy chairperson of the board at the central Bank of Lithuania and also worked as a lecturer at Vilnius University for three years before she was elected to the parliament in 2016. 

She ran for president in 2019, but lost the run-off against Gitanas Nauseda

Simonyte was the Homeland Union's lead candidate for last month's parliamentary election, but she is not a member of the party. 

In addition to her native Lithuanian, the candidate for prime minister also speaks English, Polish, Russian and Swedish. She says her main hobby is reading books.


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