Lithuania – Coalition under pressure

Parliamentary elections in Lithuania are due to be held in October. The current coalition comprises the Homeland Union/Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU/LCD), the Nation’s Resurrection Party, the Liberal Movement of Lithuanian Republic, and Liberal and Centre Union (LCU).

In the run up to the election, relations between the coalition partners are becoming strained.

On 6 March, PM Andrius Kubilius (HU/LCD) requested that President Dalia Grybauskaitė (independent) dismiss the Minister of the Interior, Raimundas Palaitis (LCU). According to Lithuania Tribune, in February the Minister had sacked two members of the Financial Crimes Investigation Service. The PM opposes this decision.

In response, President Grybauskaitė seems to have indicated that she will not accept the PM’s request for the minister’s resignation, stating that problems between the coalition partners should be resolved in parliament. I take that to mean that she supports either the status quo or the exit of either HU/LCD or the LCU from the government, presumably triggering an early election. However, she will not be the agent of a tug-of-war between the two parties.

So far, LCU has not withdrawn from the government. Presumably, this is the trap the PM is trying to lay for the LCU.

Yesterday, the tension was increased because an interpellation motion against Minister Palaitis was put down in parliament. This gives the opposition the opportunity to make life difficult for the coalition. My guess is that the legislature will not quite see it through to a full term.

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