Lithuania's LFGU paid EUR 65,000 to Skvernelis, team during election campaign

Saulius Skvernelis

The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) paid incumbent Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and other members of the team nearly 65,000 euros during the 2016 parliamentary election campaign.

The Central Electoral Commission said on Tuesday that the party committed a violation by failing to specify the spending in a special report of the political campaign, adding that the offense was not major.

The conclusion was supported by nine members of the election watchdog. Vilius Semeška, a member delegated by the opposition conservatives, abstained in the ballot.

The ruling LFGU faces administrative liability for the offense.

The election watchdog established that a single person had been employed by the LFGU before April 2016, while seven more were hired from April, including Skvernelis and current MPs Rūta Miliūtė, Dovile Šakalienė, etc.

Contracts of indefinite duration were concluded with the persons, they were hired as coordinators of operations. The contracts were terminated immediately after the second round of parliamentary elections in late October of 2016.

"Spending on the seven coordinators of operations total at 64,935 euros," said Lina Petronienė, head of the election commission's Division for Financing Control of Political Parties and Campaigns.

According to the law, all spending of a political campaign must be paid from the money in the campaign account after the start of the political campaign.

On the other hand, the law does not list staff costs as political campaign spending.

Source: BNS
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