Move to probe influence on politics in 2008-2016 makes headway in Seimas

The Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday gave the green light for setting up a new commission to investigate unlawful influence on political processes during the tenure of two previous governments.

The draft resolution passed the first reading in the Seimas with 63 votes in favor and 25 against and will have to go through one more reading to be adopted. The issue will likely return to the full parliament on September 20.

MP Agnė Širinskienė of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) said that the proposed new commission would look at issues that remained unaddressed during last spring's parliamentary investigation by the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense (NSGK).

The Seimas must look at why politicians who were in government at the time failed to prevent improper processes from taking place, she said.

Under the draft resolution, the parliamentary commission would investigate possible unlawful influence on political processes, appointments to high-ranking positions and the legislative process between 2008 and 2016.

May 2019 would be a deadline for completing the probe.

The commission would also be tasked with looking into how law-enforcement and intelligence bodies provided information available to them to the competent authorities and what steps were taken based on that information.

MP Kęstutis Masiulis of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats said that the purpose of the new probe would be "to investigate the opposition".

MP Juozas Olekas of Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) said that their political group wanted the Seimas to focus on its legislative work and, therefore, would not take part in the work of the commission.

In its findings approved by the Seimas in early June, the NSGK 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.

Source: BNS
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