Viewing cable 06VILNIUS620
Title: PARLIAMENT OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES KIRKILAS AS PRIME

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS6202006-07-05 11:12:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO3524
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHVL #0620/01 1861112
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051112Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0346
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000620 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
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E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV LH
SUBJECT: PARLIAMENT OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES KIRKILAS AS PRIME 
MINISTER 
 
REF: VILNIUS 610 
 
VILNIUS 00000620  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (SBU) Lithuania's parliament overwhelmingly approved Acting 
Defense Minister Gediminas Kirkilas for the post of Prime Minister 
on July 4.  The Social Democrat must submit the government's program 
and his proposed cabinet to the parliament by July 19, but may do so 
sooner.  Zigmantas Balcytis will continue to serve as acting Prime 
Minister until the parliament approves the cabinet and the new 
government's program.  The precise composition of the new cabinet is 
not yet clear.  This Mission had an excellent relationship with 
Kirkilas while he was Minister of Defense.  We expect more of the 
same as he moves to the PM's office.  End summary. 
 
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KIRKILAS RECEIVES BROAD SUPPORT 
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¶2. (U) Lithuania's parliament confirmed acting Defense Minister 
Gediminas Kirkilas for the post of Prime Minister on July 4. 
Kirkilas received 86 votes in the parliament; 13 MPs voted against 
him, and 5 abstained.  The 53 members of the Social Democrat-led 
coalition, which includes the Civil Democracy Party (a breakaway 
faction of the Labor Party), the Liberal and Center Union, and the 
National Farmers' Union, all supported Kirkilas, as did the Social 
Liberal and Labor parties.  (Labor's support was surprising, because 
the party spent the days leading up to the vote raising questions 
about the validity of one of Kirkilas's university degrees and 
calling on President Adamkus to revoke his nomination of Kirkilas.) 
The Liberal Democrats (the party of impeached former President 
Rolandas Paksas) and the most of the conservative Liberal Movement 
voted against Kirkilas's candidacy.  Two Liberal Movement members, 
two members of the conservative Homeland Union, and an independent 
abstained. 
 
¶3. (U) The Homeland Union, the largest party on the right, did not 
participate in the vote, thereby lending support to Kirkilas's 
candidacy.  Kirkilas needed to get a majority of the votes of those 
present to gain confirmation, meaning that an abstention was really 
a "no" vote.  The Homeland Union's non-participation therefore 
implied support for Kirkilas's candidacy. 
 
¶4. (U) Kirkilas told reporters after the vote that his 53-member 
center-left coalition intends to form a minority government.  He 
also said that the Social Democrats should hold the most posts in 
the new government and hinted that parliamentary committee 
chairmanships could go to parties outside the coalition that 
supported his candidacy. 
 
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NEXT STEPS 
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¶5. (U) Lithuania's constitution gives Kirkilas 15 days to submit his 
cabinet and his government's program to the Seimas for approval. 
Parliament then has to vote on the cabinet and program within 15 
days. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Parliament may move more quickly than the constitution 
requires, as the current legislative session will end on July 20. 
The parliamentary leadership has approved, but not publicly 
released, the following timetable: 
 
-- July 13 (Thursday) - The PM-designate will submit the 
government's program and the list of his cabinet members to the 
parliament. 
 
-- July 18 (Tuesday) - The parliament will consider and vote on the 
government's program.  A simple majority of those present must 
approve.  Cabinet members will then take the oath of office, if 
approved. 
 
¶7. (U) If MPs do not approve the government's program, they will 
return it to PM-designate.  The PM must then present a revised 
version of the government program to the parliament within 10 days. 
If the parliament does not vote on the government's program within 
30 days after the PM-designate's submission or if parliament 
disapproves the program twice in succession within 60 days, the 
President has the right to announce pre-term elections. 
 
¶8. (U) Zigmantas Balcytis will continue to serve as acting Prime 
Minister, and current acting ministers will remain in their posts, 
until the new cabinet members take the oath of office. 
 
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COMMENT 
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VILNIUS 00000620  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
¶9. (SBU) The shape of the new cabinet is not yet clear and many 
pundits here say that Kirkilas will have a difficult task cobbling 
together a team that will win parliamentary approval.  Kirkilas has 
already proven himself an adept dealmaker, however, garnering more 
parliamentary votes for his minority coalition than former PM 
Algirdas Brazauskas ever managed in leading two governments that 
enjoyed majority support in parliament.  We think that the 
PM-designate's skill and the desire of most Lithuanian political 
leaders to get the latest crisis behind them will enable the new 
government to take office.  This Mission has developed an excellent 
working relationship with Kirkilas in his role as Defense Minister, 
and we expect more of the same as he settles into a new role. 
 
KELLY