Viewing cable 06VILNIUS502
Title: LITHUANIA'S GOVERNING COALITION COLLAPSES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS5022006-05-31 13:23:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO3219
OO RUEHAG
DE RUEHVL #0502/01 1511323
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 311323Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0219
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000502 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/31/2016 
TAGS: PREL PGOV LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA'S GOVERNING COALITION COLLAPSES 
 
REF: A. A. VILNIUS 470 
 
     ¶B. B. VILNIUS 469 
     ¶C. C. VILNIUS 459 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON Officer Randolph Flay for reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1. (C) Lithuania's ruling coalition collapsed on May 31 when 
its biggest member, the Labor Party, withdrew.  PM Brazauskas 
and President Adamkus met today to discuss next steps. 
Multiple sources indicate the PM has tendered his 
resignation, although the PM has not made a public 
announcement.  We expect that the next coalition government 
will include a diverse and possibly unwieldy coalition of 
parties across the political spectrum that will not alter the 
principal tenets of Lithuania's activist foreign policy.  A 
new government will take at least a week to form, but we 
believe that a broad reluctance among many political actors 
to avoid new elections will force them to form a new 
government in June.  End Summary. 
 
LABOR LEAVES COALITION GOVERNMENT 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (C) The Labor Party Presidium recalled its five Cabinet 
ministers and withdrew from the ruling coalition on May 31. 
Loreta Grauziniene, the acting chairwoman of the party, told 
us that President Valdas Adamkus's public statement on May 30 
that he had lost confidence in two Labor Party ministers had 
precipitated the move.  Grauziniene told us that Labor was 
affronted by the President's "intolerable" remarks after it 
had taken what it considered the constructive gesture of 
suspending  the political responsibilities of its erstwhile 
leader Viktor Uspaskich, who remains beset by ongoing 
investigations of alleged wrongdoings (ref A).  Uspaskich, 
meanwhile, departed for Russia more than two weeks ago as 
political pressure on him began to rise (ostensibly because 
of a death in his family).  There is no indication that he 
intends to return to Lithuania any time soon. 
 
¶3. (C) PM Algirdas Brazauskas and President Adamkus met today 
to discuss the situation.  Neither issued any public comment 
following the meeting, but media speculate (and a close 
Ministerial colleague of the PM confirmed) that the Prime 
Minister submitted his resignation.  Prior to the 
Adamkus-Brazauskas meeting, a presidential advisor told us 
that the President wished to keep the PM in place until there 
is a new coalition agreement in place.  The advisor noted 
that signing the Mazeiku Nafta refinery deal (ref C) was an 
incentive for the PM to stay on.  An advisor to the PM, 
however, told us that the PM has finally had enough and is 
unlikely to stay on even in an acting capacity. 
 
NEXT STEPS 
----------- 
 
¶4. (SBU) In a best case scenario, it will take ten days for a 
new coalition to emerge.  The President has 15 days to submit 
a Prime Minister to the parliament for approval.  The Prime 
Minister then has two weeks to select his cabinet for the 
President's approval and parliamentary consent.  If the 
Parliament fails to approve the new Government within 30 days 
of its presentation, of if Parliament twice in succession 
rejects a new Government within 60 days of its presentation, 
new elections must take place. 
 
¶5. (U) The composition of the next coalition government is 
uncertain.  The Social Democrats and the Peasant Party have 
already begun negotiations to form a new government.  MPs 
from several parties have stated publicly and privately that 
they will not work with the Labor Party in the future.  The 
Liberal Democrats of impeached ex-President Rolandas Paksas 
are probably also untouchables. 
¶6. (SBU)  Analysts with whom we've talked speculate that the 
most likely coalition will involve the former coalition 
parties, minus the Labor Party, as well as two center-right 
parties  Such a configuration, with the following parties, 
would hold a two-seat majority in Parliament: 
 
-Social Democratic Party (23 MPs), 
-Civil Democracy Party (11 MPs), 
-Peasant Party (9 MPs), 
-New Union (10 MPs), 
-Liberal and Center Party (8 MPs), and 
-Liberal Movement (11 MPs). 
 
¶7. (SBU) A wild card is the largest party on the right, the 
Conservatives, who hold 26 seats in parliament.  Their leader 
Andrius Kubilius has ruled out participation in another 
 
VILNIUS 00000502  002 OF 002 
 
 
coalition involving Brazauskas, and some believe that he will 
prefer to bide his time in opposition rather than involve 
himself in an inherently unstable coalition.  But if 
Brazauskas leaves the scene, Kubilius may make a play for the 
PM's job, which he held for a brief period from 1999-2000. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶8. (C) The political situation here is extremely fluid, and 
many possible permutations of a new government could emerge 
in the coming days.  In the end, we believe that Labor's 
removal is positive.  Although the party was never overtly 
hostile to U.S. interests, its shadowy connections to 
corruption and Russian interests were a constant distraction 
to the GOL.  We believe that any government that emerges will 
maintain the central themes of Lithuanian foreign policy, 
which means that core U.S. interests here are unlikely to be 
altered by today's events. 
MULL