Viewing cable 06VILNIUS675
Title: LITHUANIA'S 14TH GOVERNMENT TAKES OFFICE AS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS6752006-07-18 13:12:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2212
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ
DE RUEHVL #0675/01 1991312
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181312Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0401
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000675 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA'S 14TH GOVERNMENT TAKES OFFICE AS 
PARLIAMENT APPROVES PROGRAM AND CABINET 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 620 
¶B. VILNIUS 664 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (SBU) Lithuania's parliament approved Prime Minister- 
designate Gediminas Kirkilas's government program and 
cabinet July 18 by a vote of 59 to 49.  Support came from 
the coalition of 53 MPs with additional support from three 
Labor members and three Homeland Union (conservative) 
members in the 141-seat parliament.  This Mission had an 
excellent relationship with Kirkilas while he was Minister 
of Defense and knows most of the cabinet from their 
previous jobs (bios reported ref B).  We expect a strong 
and positive working relationship with this Government. 
End summary. 
 
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PARLIAMENT APPROVES GOVERNMENT PROGRAM AND CABINET 
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¶2. (SBU) The Parliament approved the government program and 
cabinet of Prime Minister-designate Gediminas Kirkilas July 
18 by a vote of 59 to 49 with 2 abstentions.  Labor and the 
Social Liberals unexpectedly decided not to support the new 
governmentQs program, in contrast to their support of 
Kirkilas as Prime Minister in his confirmation vote on July 
4 (ref A).  Three Labor members did support the plan and 
are likely to move to the Farmer's Party group, joining the 
coalition.  The Social Liberals reportedly did not sign a 
cooperation agreement with the coalition, leading them to 
vote against the government program.  Three Homeland Union 
MPs voted for the plan.  Pursuant to their cooperation 
agreement with the coalition, the majority of the Homeland 
Union MPs did not participate in the vote, thus allowing 
the coalition to receive a majority of votes from those 
"present." 
 
¶3. (U) Voting results by party: 
 
                           For, Against, Abstain 
Liberal and Center Union*---->8,   0,   0 
Social Democratic*----------->23,  0,   0 
Farmers'*-------------------->9,   0,   0 
Civil Democracy*------------->10,  0,   0 
Homeland Union (conservative)>3,   0,   1 
Liberal Movement------------->0,   9,   0 
New Union (Social Liberal)--->0,   8,   0 
Liberal Democratic----------->0,   9,   0 
Labor------------------------>3,   23,  1 
 
* - Denotes membership in the coalition. 
 
¶4. (U) Kirkilas and the cabinet took the oath of office 
shortly after the vote and have assumed their duties.  The 
breakdown of the cabinet is as follows, with bios reported 
in ref B. 
 
Prime Minister: Gediminas Kirkilas, Social Democrat 
Foreign Affairs: Petras Vaitiekunas, Independent 
Defense: Juozas Olekas, Social Democrat 
Finance: Zygmantas Balcytis, Social Democrat 
Justice: Petras Baguska, Civil Democracy 
Interior: Raimondas Sukys, Liberal and Center Union 
Economy: Vytas Navickas, Farmers' Party 
Communications: Algirdas Butkevicius, Social Democrat 
Culture: Jonas Jucas, Liberal and Center Union 
Environment: Arunas Kundrotas, Social Democrat 
Health: Rimvydas Turcinskas, Civil Democracy 
Labor: Vilija Blinkeviciute, Social Democrat 
Agriculture: Kazimira Prunskiene, Farmers' Party 
Education: Roma Zakaitiene, Social Democrat 
 
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NEW CABINET, OLD FACES 
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¶5. (SBU) The new cabinet is not much different from the 
previous one.  Four Ministers (Balcytis, Blinkeviciute, 
Kundrotas, Prunskiene) from that government will serve in 
the same position under Kirkilas, and four other former 
Ministers (Butkevicius, Olekas, Zakaitiene, Navickas) will 
join the cabinet.  The party composition of the new cabinet 
is also similar, but reflects the ruling coalitionQs loss 
of the populist Labor Party and incorporation of the 
center-right Liberal and Center Union and the Labor break- 
away Civil Democracy Party. 
 
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VILNIUS 00000675  002 OF 002 
 
 
PM'S STATED PRIORITIES FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT 
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¶6. (SBU) Kirkilas has said that the main aim of the 14th 
Government is to "seek harmony in society and build a 
country for the well-being of all."  KirkilasQs program 
notes several key issues: the social gap, distrust of the 
political system, availability of health care services, 
corruption, the worsening demographic situation, and 
limited progress in the development of science and 
technology.  Major objectives of the 14th Government's 
program include: 
 
-- Raising the average salary to 1,800 litas (USD 653) by 
2008; 
-- Reducing the personal income tax rate to 20 percent; 
-- Paying compensation for lost ruble deposits and 
individual land restitution from the sale of the 
Government's stake in the Mazeikiu Nafta oil refinery; 
-- Ensuring accession to the Euro zone and Schengen area; 
-- Committing to direct mayoral elections within four 
months; 
-- Supporting democratic reforms in Ukraine, Russia, 
Moldova, and the South Caucasus; 
-- Active participation in the EU and NATO; and 
-- Signing an agreement among all the parties on anti- 
corruption measures by the end of 2006. 
 
¶7. (U) During the question-and-answer session in 
parliament, Foreign Affairs Minister-designate Petras 
Vaitiekunas assured MPs that he will continue the country's 
pro-Western foreign policy.  He characterized Lithuania's 
policy as a balance between active participation in the EU 
and NATO.  Vaitiekunas also said that Lithuania's 
commitment to its eastern neighbors who are building 
democracy is a "moral responsibility." 
 
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VICE-MINISTER POSTS, PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMANSHIPS 
STILL UP FOR GRABS 
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¶8. (SBU) In a departure from the previous government, PM 
Kirkilas has decided that Vice-Minster posts should be 
filled by members of the same party as the respective 
Minister.  Ceslovas Jursenas, a Social Democratic leader, 
said yesterday that Parliamentary chairmanships will be 
redistributed in the fall, reflecting the outcome of 
coalition agreements and cooperation agreements with the 
Conservative party.  The opposition Conservative party is 
expected to chair the committees of Ethics, Anti- 
corruption, Intelligence, and Audit pursuant to their 
cooperation agreement with the coalition. 
 
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COMMENT: GOVERNMENT FORMED BUT MINORITY STATUS MAY 
CHALLENGE EFFECTIVENESS 
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¶9. (SBU) Kirkilas's ability to garner support for and 
approval of his government's program in a very divided 
parliament bodes well for his tenure as PM.  It also 
demonstrates his considerable political skill.  The status 
of a 53-member coalition in a 141-member parliament may 
challenge its effectiveness, but the general commitment of 
the parties to Lithuania's long-term objectives such as 
Schengen and Euro zone membership should provide 
continuity.  With broad multipartisan support for 
Lithuania's key foreign policy commitments in NATO, 
international operations in Iraq/Afghanistan, and 
neighborhood policies to the east, we expect this Mission's 
intense and productive collaboration with the host 
government to continue. 
 
KELLY