Agriculture minister in conflict situation – Seimas speaker

Viktoras Pranckietis

Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis doubts the possibility to initiate a no-confidence vote in Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas amid criticism of his family's farming on another person's land.

Nevertheless, Pranckietis says that the minister was in a conflict situation in terms of his reputation.

"If we speak about the no-confidence vote and interpellation that was already attempted (for Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga), we saw the outcome. Probably in this case, the procedure also end this way, if someone attempted to initiate it at the Seimas," the parliamentary speaker told Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.

In his words, the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU) would probably support Markauskas they had delegated. However, Pranckietis noted that the current situation was affecting the minister's reputation, adding that his plans to give up farming would solve the problem in full.

"When we're looking at a minister, we're always talking about two things: his work, and we have no criticism here, however, when it comes to reputation here – yes, he is in a conflict situation that only he can settle. Selling the farm probably won't solve the reputation matters," said Pranckietis.

He refused to say whether Markauskas should resign.

"This is up to the prime minister to say these things," said Pranckietis.

Speaking to journalists at the parliament on Tuesday, the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said there were no reasons for Markauskas to step down. In his words, the minister has to "put things right."

The 15min.lt news website reported last week that Markauskas' mother, Sofija Markauskienė, had been using several plots of land in the western Lithuanian district without the landowners' permission for five to six years and that she had been receiving payments from the National Paying Agency for that land.

Source: BNS
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