Could the Seimas Committee of Culture and "Farmer" group prefect Ramūnas Karbauskis be forced out of all important posts due to a scandal that began last week due to his meeting with former member of Seimas Greta Kildišienė at a Vilnius public relations agency, LRT.lt asks?
"There can be varied and many discussions. I would not want to confirm or deny any rumours (...). At least among the leaders it is not being discussed. Perhaps in a branch somewhere," said "Farmer" Seimas group deputy prefect Virginijus Sinkevičius.
Meanwhile Povilas Urbšys who entered Seimas independently, but became a "Farmer" group member and one of the most influential representatives of it assured he had heard no talks of urging R. Karbauskis to withdraw from all his posts in Seimas, "After all he is the party leader. How could he be just a regular member of Seimas? On the other hand – what would change?"
Party members left with many questions
At the same time, influential "Farmers" did not deny they want to find out further details as soon as possible, why and under what circumstances R. Karbauskis met G. Kildišienė at the public relations agency in Vilnius' Old Town.
"I see another problem – R. Karbauskis is one of the leaders and the situation with G. Kildišienė slashes confidence in him and the Seimas group. Furthermore what do his actions and behaviour look like to the party itself? In the case of Kęstutis Bacvinka, when he supported the alternative Forest Law amendment project, the party took no action, though it should have," P. Urbšys said.
He is convinced that the falling "Farmer" ratings are a problem of the past few months. Furthermore, according to the politician, it must not be permitted that party leaders and members would lose the people's trust.
P. Urbšys notes that people voted for the "Farmers" because they are "different than those in power before", thus in terms of morals, the standard for the party is raised much higher than for others.
"Perhaps some dislike that we pass unpopular decisions, however first and foremost we have no right to lose moral authority. Particularly our leaders. If the people see that one of us is lying or that there is no basis in trusting us, then of course our authority suffers. After all the slogan during campaigning was "A dignified individual – a strong country." We show dignity and respect to people when we do not hold them less intelligent than we are," P. Urbšys said and assured that he believes that R. Karbauskis and G. Kildišienė's relations are clearly harming the "Farmer" party.
Bored of the topic of G. Kildišienė
Seimas vice Speaker and "Farmer" veteran Rima Baškienė did not deny that on Wednesday, the party gathered under Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis' initiative to discuss tasks which could be performed during summer.
"Perhaps such thoughts exist, but no-one has spoken to me about it," R. Baškienė commented on the rumours that R. Karbauskis would benefit from becoming a regular member of Seimas.
The vice Speaker is convinced that what was achieved by the party's efforts should not be diminished, but she wants an open discussion on what has been happening in recent days. "We need to meet, talk and figure out what actually happened with those public relations. The topic of G. Kildišienė has gotten boring. It practically distracts us all from work. We would rather concentrate on the Seimas autumn session, relations with our coalition partners or others, rather than wasting time due to G. Kildišienė," she said.
R. Karbauskis – irreplaceable?
Meanwhile, political scientist Vytautas Dumbliauskas doubted in the meaningfulness of calls and discussions of whether R. Karbauskis should relinquish posts in Seimas or depart Seimas altogether.
"It would look weird if the party leader was left without a political post. Who would replace him? After all Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is nonpartisan. Seimas Speaker V. Pranckietis? On the other hand it would appear the "Farmers" already fear scandals because R. Karbauskis conjures them from thin air and harms the party. Perhaps he needs to see a psychologist?" V. Dumbliauskas mused.
If "Farmer" ratings continue to decline, the expert did not dismiss the possibility that the party could completely lose the trust and confidence of the people and that is increasingly going to influence the already sceptical evaluation of the current majority and cabinet.
Meanwhile political scientist Lauras Bielinis assured he believes that R. Karbauskis is demonstrating an inability to work in Seimas – leading a party group and the culture committee. "In all cases he is demonstrating a lack of composure, is unable to adequately communicate and organise the people he entered Seimas with for work. On the other hand, proposals for him to leave his posts in Seimas or Seimas altogether are more rhetorical means because it is still rare in Lithuania that people would realise their ability to participate in politics and would withdraw from it," he commented.