Lithuania's ruling bloc recognizes vote on raise for doctors, opposition goes back to work

Seimas hall

Lithuania's ruling coalition agreed to recognize that the conservatives' bid to raise wages for trainee doctors was adopted, therefore, the opposition agreed to return to the plenary room.

Some opposition members dismissed the situation of the morning session as a crisis after the conservatives, the Liberals, the Social Democrats, some of the Order and Justice party and the mixed group left the plenary, accusing Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis of causing it.

"Any principles of parliamentary democracy were violated today, and today's conduct of the Seimas speaker, his interpretation of the ballot and the strife for revote has shown once again that the parliamentary speaker is not a free man and that he is not one of the leaders of the state," conservative MP Irena Degutienė said at the meeting of all parliamentarians, which was held for the first time since 1992.

Juozas Olekas, the head of the opposition Social Democrats, asked rhetorically whether the ruling bloc indeed wanted to push the opposition into parliamentary resistance that emerged in 1992 when the Supreme Council was disbanded and early elections were called.

Members of the opposition said they would only return to the plenary hall, if the parliament re turned to the adoption of the amendments to the Law on Medical Practice and supported the conservatives' bid to raise salaries for trainee doctors.

The proposal was approved by majority of two votes, however, ruling parties called for a repeated vote after Kęstutis Bacvinka of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union withdrew his vote. The parliamentary speaker then announced a revote, and the bid to raise the salaries was overruled. The opposition then left the plenary hall in protest of the ballot.

Without their votes, the ruling parties cannot pass laws, as they do not have the necessary 71 votes.

Elders of the parliament's opposition groups turned to the parliament's ethics guards over the parliamentary speaker's conduct, asking to conclude whether Pranckietis did the right thing by announcing a revote.

Under the proposal of conservative MPs Mykolas Majauskas and Ingrida Šimonytė, the coefficient for basic salaries for junior trainee doctors would go up from 3.5 to 4, while that for senior doctors would rise from 4 to 4.95.

Source: BNS
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