G. Nausėda gets a swipe from D. Žalimas: he should not feel like either a monarch, a chief, or a feudal lord

Dainius Žalimas, the presidential candidate of the Freedom Party, criticises the relationship between the current Head of State, Gitanas Nausėda and the Government. He said Daukantas Square should cooperate, not fight with the Cabinet of Ministers.

G. Nausėda<br>O. Gurevičiaus (ELTA) nuotr.
G. Nausėda<br>O. Gurevičiaus (ELTA) nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Lrytas.lt

2024-02-20 12:12, atnaujinta 2024-02-20 12:14

„When the President disregards constitutional imperatives and becomes a fighter in the political arena when he should be a mediator. He is not a boss or a big brother to be obeyed. I find this rhetoric unacceptable,“ D. Žalimas said on Tuesday at the continuation of the East European Studies Centre's (RESC) series of debates with presidential candidates.

D.Žalimas reacted to an interview with Asta Skaisgirytė, a senior adviser to G. Nausėda, during which she said that the president naturally does not like it when the Government tries to restrict his powers. Therefore, she said, the Head of State behaves like an older brother whose younger offspring must listen.

„Who has to listen to whom is very clear, it seems to me“, A. Skaisgirytė told Elta.

D. Žalimas believes that such a position of the Presidency has negative consequences for the state.

„The presidential election programme should begin with a proper understanding of the presidential institution in the country. (...) to be equally fair to all. This contradicts what we have seen in practice over the last four years. This has unfortunate consequences for foreign policy and national security“, the candidate said, holding the Constitution in his hand.

D. Žalimas believes that Lithuania lacks presidential leadership during this term. He also criticises G. Nausėda's position on human rights.

„Respect everyone; do not feel like a monarch, a boss or a lord of the manor in this state. Try to listen to everyone's opinion to make weighed, reasonable decisions. Explain decisions to the public, showing a certain leadership that has not been present in the last four years,“ he said.

„If the President promotes medieval or backward Russian world views on human rights, I think that has indirect and not very positive consequences when dealing with partners in the West,“ the candidate added.

The Presidency's position on EVT is unconstitutional

D. Žalimas is sceptical about the ongoing discussions on the representation of the EVT since the beginning of G. Nausėda's term in office. In his view, the President has enough responsibilities, so a representative of the Government should go to the EVT meetings. According to the former Constitutional Court (KT) judge, the current practice is unconstitutional.

„The current practice is unconstitutional. (...) It is unacceptable to me that even the Deputy Foreign Minister is not included in the delegation, apparently because of some personal interests,“ the candidate said.

He said that the President and the Prime Minister should cooperate on foreign policy issues and share responsibilities equally.

„When the EVT deals with issues that fall under the Government's purview, it is logical that the prime Minister should represent. The President would only benefit from this, and there is no need to play the role of a great leader who occupies every possible position,“ said Dainius Žalimas.

Disputes over ambassadors have been going on since last year

The quarrel between the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry over the appointment of ambassadors’ dates back to last year, with the two institutions arguing since December over who is to blame for the lack of a head of the embassy in Poland, a strategically important country for Lithuania. With the Daukantas Square Palace and the Ministry explaining the circumstances surrounding the appointment of an ambassador for this mission differently, the issue has been repeatedly discussed in the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs (URK).

At the same time, as recently as last autumn, a conflict arose between the President and the Minister over the appointment of the Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Eitvydas Bajarūnas. After information about possible mobbing of E. Bajarūnas appeared in the public domain, there was a disagreement on whether the Ambassador could continue in his post. As a result of this situation, the Ministry carried out an inspection, which showed that the Ambassador had violated his mandate, and in October, Mr Landsbergis suspended Mr Bajarūnas.

The issue of the diplomat's work also came under the spotlight following the findings of the Supreme Commission on Ethics (VTEK) that President G. Nausėda and E. Bajarūnas had violated the Law on Public and Private Interests when they attended the musical The Phantom of the Opera. The Commission found that the visit to the musical was private and paid for with Embassy funds.

ELTA reminds you that the Lithuanian presidential elections will occur on 12 May 2024.

Currently, 14 candidates have announced their intentions to run for the post of the country's leader. One of them is President Gitanas Nausėda, seeking a second term in Daukantas Square. The Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), which has decided not to run a candidate of its own, has also expressed its official support for him.

Five years ago, the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) put forward the candidacy of the current Prime Minister, Ingrida Šimonytė. The Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LVŽS) will be represented in the presidential elections by Aurelijus Veryga, MP and former Minister of Health; Dainius Žalimas, former President of the Constitutional Court, will represent the Freedom Party; Giedrimas Jeglinskas, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, will represent the Democratic Union In the Name of Lithuania, and Andrius Mazuronis will represent the Labour Party.

Lawyer Ignas Vėgėlė stood as an independent candidate. He has already received support from the Freedom and Justice Party and the Christian Union.

Seven other candidates have put themselves forward: the doctor Eduardas Vaitkus, the former army commander Valdas Tutkus, Zenonas Andrulėnas, who was previously a candidate for the position of Director General of the LRT, the leader of the newly founded party Nemunas Aušra, the Member of the Seimas, Remigijus Žemaitaitis, journalist, politician Gintautas Kniukšta, the teacher Arūnas Rimkus and the entrepreneur Žilvinas Treigys.

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