Political group of farmers and greens is not united. That was publicly admitted by the Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, even though the party leader Ramūnas Karbauskis likes to emphasize unity.
Opinions in this group differ in various aspects but the most prominent divide derives from the questions of: education and forest enterprise reform, a bill regarding names and surnames, which was prepared by Andrius Kubilius, former Conservative Prime Minister.
By this bill they are seeking to legalize the use of names with Latin origin in personal documents. If the bill passed, surnames in documents would be written with the letters “w”, “q” and “x”.
What is interesting is that S. Skvernelis not only agreed with this proposal but personally started gathering the signatures. It was a mistery for a number of Farmer party members.
One Parliament member said that these three letters are a good criteria to assess the team of S. Skvernelis. In other words, the parliament members who have signed the bill regarding names and surnames could be considered his people.
The people who put their signatures from the Farmers and greens political group were: deputy of the head of the group Virginijus Sinkevičius, Dainius Gaižauskas, Stasys Jakeliūnas, Virgilijus Poderys, Vytautas Bakas, Guoda Burokienė, Mindaugas Puidokas, Zenonas Streikus, Virginija Vingrienė, Valerijus Simulik, Robertas Šarnickas, Vida Ačienė, Tomas Tomilinas, Raimundas Martinėlis, Gediminas Vasiliauskas, Rūta Miliūtė, Laimutė Matkevičienė, Justas Džiugelis, Arvydas Nekrošius, Kęstutis Smirnovas, Aurelijus veryga, Bronius Markauskas.
In total that is 23 people including S. Skvernelis.
It is said that several other politicians support this bill, who did not sign the project. Amongst them Viktoras Pranckietis. Also, under the knowledge of DELFI, the project is supported by Egidijus Vareikis as well.
The Prime Minister S. Skvernelis told DELFI that the collection of signatures was a simple test of democracy and his job as a Member of Parliament.
If this was a test of democracy then it was eloquent: in 2015 the Farmer and greens political group was collecting signatures so that the first page of passports would be only in the official language. In the knowledge of DELFI at this time R. Karbauskis does not express a strong opinion, but does not support the Name and surname project.
It is thought that at this time in the Farmers and Greens political group a division of territory is taking place.
A Member of Parliament who spoke to DELFI said that some representatives of the party talked about a “separate political group” but for him this is hard to imagine because the Government would fall then.
“It is possible that the group will form within the political group of Farmers and Greens and clearly support the reforms that were promised during the elections” said the member of Parliament.
Of course, not all of those who signed the Name and Surname bill could be stated as people of S. Skvernelis, who are going to support all reforms. For example, V. Vingrienė has signed this project but is criticized fiercely the reform on forest enterprise which is being pushed by the Government.
One politician told DELFI that the collection of signatures for this project was just S. Skvernelis attempt to compete with the leader of Greens and Farmers political group R. Karbauskis, who is reluctant to agree with the name and Surname project and whose “person” Eugenijus Jovaiša had challenged S. Skvernelis regarding education reforms.
It is known that in order to get ahead of the education reform, the Committee of Education and Science has approved the merge of Vytautas Magnus University and University of Education.
S. Skvernelis himself has told LRT that he gets suggestions to create their own political group.
A member of the Parliament from the ranks of R. Karbauskis stated that there was a meeting in the political group on Monday where they discussed regarding the relationship between the leaders but decided that double leadership is still working out.
A member of the Parliament said that Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats are doing the most, whose leader Gabrielius Landsbergis meets the Prime Minister S. Skvernelis and promises to back the reforms, which were included into the Conservative election program.
In other words, it is possible that the side of R. Karbauskis thinks that the noise is being cause by Conservatives who want to break the coalition.