Viewing cable 09VILNIUS483
Title: LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT OUSTS SPEAKER; GOVERNING

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS4832009-09-16 14:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0020
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0483 2591429
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161429Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3739
UNCLAS VILNIUS 000483 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT OUSTS SPEAKER; GOVERNING 
COALITION APPEARS SECURE 
 
REF: VILNIUS 459 
 
¶1.  SUMMARY:  Lithuania's Seimas (parliament) on September 15 
voted to remove TV showman Arunas Valinskas from the 
Speaker's chair he had held for almost a year. The vote 
followed media reports that Valinskas associated with and 
perhaps used his government post to do favors for an 
organized crime figure.  The change, along with a split 
within Valinskas' political party, has prompted negotiations 
over the composition of the governing coalition, but the 
Conservative-led government of Prime Minister Kubilius is 
expected to remain in power.  End summary. 
 
¶2.  On September 15, 95 of the 139 members of the Lithuanian 
Seimas voted to oust Valinskas, less than a year after he and 
his celebrity-laden National Revival Party exceeded all 
expectations and finished third in parliamentary elections 
last fall.  The party has acrimoniously disintegrated and now 
has two feuding factions in the Seimas, neither of which has 
kept the National Revival name.  The no-confidence vote on 
Valinskas came after media reported that he had had frequent 
contact with a convicted criminal who was part of an 
organized-crime group in Kaunas, Lithuania's second-largest 
city.  Lithuania's largest daily newspaper reported in August 
that Valinskas had, on behalf of his acquaintance, sought 
information about an investigation into the group.  Valinskas 
said he will keep his seat in the Seimas. 
 
¶3.  First deputy speaker Irena Degutiene has become acting 
speaker, and is favored by all parties in the ruling 
coalition to replace Valinskas.  Valinskas said his 
seven-member Oak Faction would remain in the coalition.  One 
of the 13 members of the Lithuania United Faction, which also 
was part of National Revival, told us his faction was 
officially out of the coalition, but was in negotiations with 
the Conservative Party to rejoin.  When National Revival was 
united, it controlled two Cabinet positions. Whether either 
of the factions will keep those posts now, or whether there 
will be a redistribution of Cabinet posts, remains uncertain 
as negotiations continue. 
 
¶4.  Comment:  Even without the Lithuania United faction, the 
Conservative-led governing coalition has 71 of the 141 seats 
in the Seimas (which currently has two vacancies).  Although 
the leader of the opposition told reporters that he was 
exploring the possibility of forming a different coalition, 
it appears unlikely that the Kubilius government will lose 
its hold on power, or be inclined to change any of its 
positions, which are generally very pro-American.  The vote 
on Valinskas was about one personality, not about policy. 
End summary. 
LEADER