• August 20, 2014
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AWPL does not exclude Niewierowicz’s return

Renata Cytacka’s appointment for the post of vice-minister of energtics has led to the recently biggest political crisis.Minister of energetics Jarosław Niewierowicz, who has already signed this nomination, on the day terminating his vacation, i.e. 25th August, will have been officially dismissed.

After dismissing the minister of energetics Jarosław Niewiarowicz, appointing his deputy can be remarkably time- and effort-consuming endeavour for the leading coalition.

Temporary head of the department, currently overtaking Niewiarowicz’s liabilities- the minister of communication Rimantas Sinkevicius- will probably have to dismiss Cytacka, due to the recquirement of the PM Algirdas Butkevicius, or actually the President Dalia Grybauskaite.

The President holds a personal grudge towards vice-minister. Indeed, it was Cytacka who officially accused her of lying about the situation of Polish minority in Lithuania. He did it not as an official, but as the president of Forum for Parents of Polish Students in Soleczniki. Nevertheless, for displaying such a civic attitude, she will probably have to accept herself being dismissed.

The process of appointing new minister may take longer, due to the threat of the whole coalition’s collapse, at least the quitting of AWPL ( Lithuanian Poles Electoral Action), whose members designated both Niewierowicz and Cytacka. Such a scenario is talked about by some Lithuanian politologists assessing Polish party’s affront towards the PM’s demands as a pretext to quit the coalition before the forthcoming elections to self-government. According to them, AWPL as the opposition will be able to motivate their electorate more effectively. On the other hand, there are media speculating about the Poles being ”thrown out of the coalition”. Such plans are not confirmed by the coalition partners, though. Instead, they assure that Poles are still very much welcome in the coalition, provided they are still willing to stay.

”There is no hindrance for AWPL to stay in the leading coalition. The question is, do they want it”-said during the Wednesday radio interview vice-president of the ”Law and Order” party( PiS) and vice-leader of the Seimas Kęstas Komskis. What the  ”PiS” representative also indicated, was that AWPL poses a solid and reliable partner, therefore its resignation would recquire the coalition to work in a more coordinated and disciplined way.

Also the representatives of Labour Party- yet another, apart from AWPL and Sociodemocratic Party of Algirdas Butkevicius the PM, coalition group- on Tuesday indicated the urge for a gentle talk on the current situation following the minister of energetics’ dismissal.
AWPL does not dramatise about it yet, though. In the statement published after the presidetial decree concerned with Niewierowicz’s dismissal, AWPL states that ”this case has not been prejudged yet”.
”This very case has by no means been  prejudged yet and until 25th August different decision can be taken. AWPL is perceived as a solid political group, one of the most reliable partners of Lithuanian leading coalition, always meeting the coalition’s recquirements and always votes according to previously reached agreement between the coalition’s members”- one reads in the Tuesday statement of AWPL Press Agency.

According to the coalition’s agreement, finalised after elections in November 2012, AWPL is entitled to fill the posts of minister of energetics, vice-minister of energetics, as well as of ministers of education, agriculture and communications.

”No one except for the leading coalition’s political council, including the President or leaders of political parties forming the coalition, even the biggest of them, has the right to change anything in the coalition’s agreement. Similarly, no one is entitled to express their opinion (especially subjective) on a given party’s candidates. The ones responsible to assessing the candidates are the head organs of the party proposing the candidates. Disobeying these rules and breaking them can mean either violation of  European political culture, or even its lack”- holds the statement issued by AWPL. It does not exclude that after 25th August the PM, in cooperation with AWPL, will propose Jarosław Niewierowicz to be re-elected for the post of minister of energetics.

Asked about such a course of events, Butkevicius excluded the possibility of re-nominating Niewierowicz. What he admitted, however, was that the coalition members have not established anything with respect to this particular case. Any decisions are to be taken on 25th August during the leading coalition’s Political Council.
On the other hand, AWPL does not exclude the fact that removing its people from the Government is inspired from outside by some  unknown ”groups of interest”.
”Today it is hard to state for certain what has been the main reason of attacking vice-minister of energetics Renata Cytacka: it is still unknown whether it was the forementioned lack of political culture or interest of some corrupt groups”- AWPL emphasises.

The PM earlier admitted to have given Niewierowicz a choice, i.e. if Niewierowicz appoints Cytacka for the post of vice-minister, he would be dismissed himself.
Butkevicius also revealed that Niewierowicz had already had his favourite candidate from ”Vilnius self-government”, but eventually he surrendered to AWPL’s pressures and appointed Cytacka.
On Wednesday, a daily paper ”Versło žinios” revealed that the person proposed by Niewierowicz to become his deputy is Stanisław Widtmann, currently a senior specialist in the Ministry of Energetics on EU  support for the foreign sections and member of the Board of Trustees in the energetical project ”LitPolLink”.
Previously Widtmann was a vice-minister of culture from AWPL, but he has never been the actual member of AWPL. The newspaper holds that the AWPL leader and member of the European Parliament Waldemar Tomaszewski rejected Niewierowicz’s proposal and insisted upon appointing Cytacka. Her nomination has dealt a serious blow to the whole coalition. ”PiS” has already announced that if AWPL quits, they will be willing to retain the post of minister of energetics for themselves.

Yesterday, AWPL confirmed that Niewierowicz will be again proposed by them for the post of minister. Vice-leader of the Seimas Jarosław Narkiewicz has told the media that ”AWPL trusts Niewierowicz”, hence they are going to propose him for the post of minister once again. Asked, if Cytacka was also going to be re-nominated for the vice-minister’s post, he clearly stated that apart from Narkiewicz and Cytacka no other candidates in the Department of Energetics have been discussed by the party leaders.

Translated by Katarzyna Piskorz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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