Viewing cable 06VILNIUS526
Title: LITHUANIA: RAINBOW COALITION PROVES ELUSIVE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS5262006-06-07 13:51:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO1015
PP RUEHAG
DE RUEHVL #0526/01 1581351
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 071351Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0247
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000526 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, INR/EUC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2021 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA: RAINBOW COALITION PROVES ELUSIVE 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 502 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 511 
     ¶C. 05 VILNIUS 1223 
     ¶D. 05 VILNIUS 1287 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Randolph Flay for reasons 1.4(b/d) 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1. (C) Lithuania's Social Democratic and Conservative Parties 
are working to form a ruling coalition, either separately or 
together, in the wake of the June 1 collapse of the 
Government of Lithuania (refs a and b).  The President, 
favoring a rainbow coalition government, continues to consult 
with party leaders.  Despite his efforts, however, talks 
between the two blocs are not going well, and the possibility 
of a rainbow on the political horizon is fading.  Meanwhile, 
the Labor Party has launched a well-financed campaign to 
discredit President Adamkus, but the kickoff -- a public 
letter noting the party's loss of faith in state leaders and 
institutions -- provoked little response.  End summary. 
 
TALK OF THE ELUSIVE RAINBOW 
--------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) The Social Democratic, Peasant, and Civil Democracy 
Parties have formally agreed to constitute a voting bloc and 
form Lithuania's next coalition government.  The left-leaning 
group controls 44 of the 141 seats in Lithuania's parliament. 
 The bloc is also apparently in negotiation with the Liberal 
and Center Union to pick up an additional eight MPs.  To the 
center-right, the Conservative Party, Liberal Movement, and 
Social Liberal Party on June 5 signed a similar agreement, 
with 47 MPs on their side. 
 
¶3. (U) President Valdas Adamkus met with leaders from each 
bloc on June 5, urging them to negotiate.  Publicly, the 
leaders declared their readiness to negotiate in the hope of 
forming a rainbow coalition and the next government.  The 
first round of talks took place June 6, ending with agreement 
to meet again. 
 
¶4. (C)  Several well-placed sources tell us, however, that 
the discussions of a rainbow coalition are going badly and 
will be fruitless.  MFA U/S Albinas Januska told the 
Ambassador June 7 that, despite public appearances, the 
Social Democrats are participating in rainbow talks in bad 
faith.  He said that they insist on adhering to the program 
of the failed government, refusing to entertain the 
incorporation of any of the Conservatives' priorities. 
Januska said the SocDems, having already signed on the 
Labor-breakaway Civil Democrats, hope to split the Labor 
Party (LP) even further, and are in secret negotiations with 
LP parliamentarians to bring them into the fold. 
 
¶5. (C) The Conservatives have continued to negotiate, Januska 
said, but strong opposition from party members who adamantly 
refuse to work with the left-leaning SocDems risks dividing 
the party if the rainbow comes into being.  Conservative MP 
Rasa Jukneviciene substantiated Januska's analysis, telling 
us that, despite the public statements, the prospects for a 
Conservative-Social Democrat coalition are small.  Whatever 
coalition emerges now, Jukneviciene said, will be 
short-lived, and the Conservatives are seriously considering 
the eventuality of pre-term elections early in 2007 should 
the next government also fail. 
 
LABOR STRIKES OUT 
----------------- 
 
¶6. (C) The fallen Labor Party launched its revenge against 
the presidency and its former coalition partners with a 
not-so-stinging public letter alleging undemocratic behavior, 
but still apparently plans more damning attacks. 
Presidential advisor Simonas Satunas told us June 6 that he 
expects an extended smear campaign against Adamkus that could 
begin when the President heads to Azerbaijan on June 8. 
Satunas said that the smear campaign is in the hands of local 
PR firm called "Progroup," run by a young, talented 
consultant named Laurynas Filipavicius.  (Note: Filipavicius 
organized the May 4-6 "European Association of Political 
Consultants" conference that Labor and others sponsored -- 
unsuccessfully -- as competition for with the CDC conference 
that involved Vice President Cheney and several Eastern 
European leaders.  Uspaskich gave a keynote address at the 
Progroup conference.  End note.)  MFA U/S Januska said that 
Uspaskich may release information demonstrating that he 
covered approximately USD 200,000 of Adamkus's 2004 
presidential campaign debt. If that happens, he said, one of 
Adamkus's former campaign advisors will step forward to 
 
VILNIUS 00000526  002 OF 002 
 
 
assert that the president knew nothing of this arrangement. 
 
¶7. (S) Satunas said that the President's supporters are 
responding by taking the fight to Progroup.  Sympathetic 
politicians and Presidency staff are portraying the 
consultancy in the press as character assassins who seek 
political instability in Lithuania.  Satunas told us that the 
Presidency is grateful for the contingency press statement 
that the Mission has prepared in the event of a campaign 
alleging that Adamkus was a KGB agent (ref b). 
 
¶8. (U) Investigations into the Labor Party's financial 
activities continue.  A June 6 Prosecutor General's Office 
press release stated that ten searches of Labor Party and 
various company offices have resulted in the seizure of 
documents and 19 computers.  The Prosecutor General 
anticipates a lengthy investigation and plans to question 
"several hundred" people in order to formulate an indictment. 
 The Prosecutor General's Office questioned former Labor 
Party member Parliamentary Speaker Muntianas June 7 in 
connection with the investigation.  Viktor Uspaskich told the 
media (from Russia) that he has not received any subpoena on 
the matter. 
 
RUSSIAN ROLE? 
------------- 
 
¶9. (S) Januska told the Ambassador that there is good 
evidence that Uspaskich received financial contributions from 
Russian special services.  He stated that this may be one of 
several possible indictments against Uspaskich and the reason 
why he has failed to return from Russia.  (Earlier press 
reports of Uspaskich's return proved to be false; he has now 
been in Russia for four weeks.)  Januska also stated that 
seized Labor Party computer files show that the party paid 
USD 150,000, allegedly to the daily newspaper Respublika to 
run the 2005 smear campaign against philanthropist George 
Soros, Adamkus, and others.(refs C and D).  Januska 
characterized  the funding of Uspaskich as part of a Russian 
campaign  to belittle Lithuania in the eyes of its partners, 
reducing its ability to work effectively in the former Soviet 
Union to counter Russian interests. 
 
COMMENT: No Rainbow 
------------------- 
 
¶10. (C) We expect the Social Democrats will play a central 
role in the next government of Lithuania.  It seems 
increasingly unlikely that the Conservatives will join their 
ideological opposites and form a rainbow coalition. 
Adamkus's stature will, if anything, rise as a result of 
recent events.  The threat from Uspaskich and company is 
real, but Uspaskich's credibility and political clout with 
the electorate are at all-time lows.  His flailing at rivals 
will probably have little effect. 
MULL