Lithuanian ruling party MPs want new probe into politics-business links
The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's (LVŽS) political group in the Seimas has decided to initiate a new parliamentary investigation into links between politics and business as a follow-up to a probe conducted the Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK).
"The group approved a draft resolution and plans that it will be registered during this session and will be put to vote in the first sitting of the new session," LVŽS leader Ramūnas Karbauskis told reporters after the group's meeting on Friday.
Karbauskis said that questions to be answered by the new investigation are still being drafted.
"Many questions remained unanswered (by the NSGK probe), because no such task was given. Many issues were not touched upon in that investigation, including the Modus Group issues and energy issues," he said.
Džiugelis described the proposed investigation as "a plan to drown the conservatives" in which he does not want to participate.
"The head of the political group has to think about what matters more to him: his personal interests to sort things out with the president, the conservatives and all the others, or to preserve the unity of the group, because there are colleagues who oppose it," he said.
The lawmaker hinted that Karbauskis was warned during the meeting that some members might leave and set up a new group in the parliament.
Karbauskis said he "will not comment on Džiugelis' fantasies" and played down the talk of some members leaving the group.
In its findings approved by the Seimas in early June, the committee says that Russia's energy giant Rosatom and MG Baltic, one of Lithuania's largest business groups, used non-transparent means to exert influence on political processes, thus posing a threat to national security.
It also says that politicians, businesses and media people seek to circumvent the existing ban on legal entities to financially support political parties, with forms of such support including off-the-book cash payments, discounts, donations to various foundations and covert advertising.