A confidential document for internal party use–which was leaked to the press–catalogs recent political errors committed by Fatherland Union/Lithuanian Conservatives (FU/LC), the majority party in Lithuania’s parliament and in the outgoing government. Those errors are seen to account at least in part for FU/LC’s loss of popularity and the government’s disarray–a combination which seem to have precipitated the current government crisis. Drawn up by Sigitas Kaktys, vice chairman of the board of FU/LC and head of the committee for internal party affairs, the report cites as blunders:
–outgoing Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius’ conflict with the highly popular President Valdas Adamkus;
–expulsion of Vidmantas Ziemelis and Laima Andrikiene from the government and the party–a move which backfired on the party’s image and added to Vagnorius’ reputation for autocratic leadership;
–inappropriate attacks on the mass media from government circles;
–a growing tax burden on the middle class;
–deteriorating business conditions, contributing to the political alienation of the middle class from the Conservatives;
–privileged and politically unpopular relations with the Confederation of Lithuanian Industrialists and its chairman Bronislovas Lubys, represented by Economics Minister Vincas Babilius in the outgoing government; and
–a failure to persuade the public that the Conservatives are committed to combating corruption and to governing with “clean hands” (Respublika (Vilnius), BNS, May 3).
The report seems to reflect the views of the group which favors continued participation by FU/LC in the government and a serious effort to address the problems which led to the current crisis. Another group wants FU/LC to demonstrate its displeasure with Adamkus by refusing to participate in the successor government–a step which would immensely complicate the governance of Lithuania. Significantly, this document critical of Vagnorius originates from the FU/LC’s board, of which Vagnorius is the chairman (see the Monitor, April 21-22, May 3-4).
MOSCOW BACKTRACKS ON AGREEMENT TO REMOVE ARSENALS FROM MOLDOVA.