Gentvilas: I wish the President could swallow his pride and refrain from engaging in acts of revenge

„I would like the President to be someone who would be able to swallow his pride and not engage in revenge actions, not to inflate artificial conflicts, which Lithuania does not need,“ hoped Liberal Eugenijus Gentvilas, reacting to the plans of the President Gitanas Nausėda to replace some of his ministers.

Eugenijus Gentvilas.<br>J.Elinsko (ELTA) nuotr.
Eugenijus Gentvilas.<br>J.Elinsko (ELTA) nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Jun 3, 2024, 12:19 PM, atnaujinta Jun 3, 2024, 12:22 PM

At the same time, Giedrius Surplys, a Peasant, who was discussing with Gentvilas on the Lietuva Direct programme on Lietuvos Rytas television, predicted that new artificial conflicts would indeed flare up – but between the parties of the ruling coalition.

Calls to swallow his pride

President Nausėda on Monday reiterated his pre-election goal of replacing some ministers when the Government resumes its mandate after the Head of State resumes his duties.

When asked what the Liberal Group's position would be—whether all ministers should wait for the Seimas elections or whether the ruling party should be ready to compromise if they were convinced by the President's arguments—Gentvilas said that they should be convinced by the Prime Minister's arguments, not the President's.

„The Prime Minister is responsible for forming the Government according to the Constitution. Whatever the Prime Minister, in this case, Ms. Šimonytė, proposes, she will have to prove to us. We will vote on her proposal.

And the President is trying to be very contentious here. We should be careful that he stays within the bounds of constitutionality. But he will almost always form a Government and submit it to Seimas – no. The Prime Minister, probably Šimonytė, will submit the composition of the Government to the Seimas, in agreement with the President,“ Gentvilas said on the Lietuvos Rytas TV programme New Day.

The Liberal stressed that the Seimas, who will have to vote, will not be involved in the discussion with the President, but the Prime Minister will discuss the ministers with the Head of State.

„I wish Šimonytė would show her backbone and others would feel their place, having read the Constitution first,“ he urged the Seimas member.

Nausėda's rhetoric suggests that he will no longer be diplomatic. Gentvilas is not surprised by the President's position.

„One can admit that the Conservatives cannot expect anything else after their radical behaviour and attacks on the President, but I would like the President to be the one who can swallow his pride, does not engage in revengeful actions, and does not inflate artificial conflicts, which Lithuania does not need.

This Government can work, or with the changes proposed by the Prime Minister, until the end of its term of office, and the President should not be looking for a long-term conflict here. If he tries to create one, it seems that even his voters would not understand it,“ Gentvilas said.

He sees a conflict

Indeed, more severe conflicts may soon flare up between the ruling Conservatives and the Presidency but also between the parties of the ruling coalition itself.

And the fractiousness of the coalition partners can already be seen. For example, the Chairwoman of the Freedom Party, Aušrinė Armonaitė, is publicly talking about the defeat of Prime Minister Šimonytė in the presidential elections and even names the reasons for it – she believes that the Conservatives have played along with the public's fear of war.

Giedrius Surplys, a member of the Lithuanian Peasants and Greens Union (LVŽS), said that Conservative statements have indeed started to irritate not only the public or the opposition but also political commentators.

„Yes, Landsbergis was the flag bearer who was the loudest in carrying the message that we don't know whether NATO would protect us or whether the 5th pillar would come into force immediately. But Šimonytė herself, in my opinion, slipped up on foreign policy, which is the President's main function, by questioning Poland's willingness or legal basis to defend Lithuania if it was attacked“, the peasant recalled.

Thus, Surplys says the elections are already beginning in the ruling coalition.

„The Liberal parties will start to criticise each other more and more fiercely and notice each other's failures, and the two smaller coalition partners will, of course, bite the Conservatives.

Only, again, the rhetorical question – where were you before? There was an opportunity to leave the coalition and criticise the big party – the Conservatives – for terrible decisions. But only now, a few months before the already parliamentary severe elections, will we see the genuine love between the coalition partners“, the MP predicted.

Gentvilas did not deny this prediction – the Liberal said he could not contradict an utterly logical idea.

„What Giedrius said is entirely logical. And in my daily life, we, the representatives of the ruling parties, have to draw more precise lines between our party and other parties. I have nothing to object to or to add except one thing.

Here we have the European Parliament elections. There are three parties on the right: the Liberals, the Libertarians, and the Conservatives. As Giedrius said, there is competition between us.

Now, Giedrius, tell me, my colleague, what is the competition between the twelve parties standing for the European Parliament on the left and the populist side? There, you cannot deny, there will be even more fierce competition, and I am afraid that there, with all the beauties and the blowhards, the competition will not only look unsavoury, but it will go beyond all bounds of decency,“ he said.

Surplys said that the ruling coalition is oversimplifying the differences between the right and the left. According to him, the reality in Lithuania and Europe is different because of the ideological divide.

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