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“Municipal elections can raise questions about the activities of the sitting Government, and the President wants to be ready for it”, political scientist Lauras Bielinis comments on President Dalia Grybauskaitė’s expressed lack of confidence in the Minister of Economy Dainius Kreivys in the portal.

“I do not think that a politician can be doing two jobs. He needs to be either a politician or a businessman”, Grybauskaitė unexpectedly declared to the media, implying that she considered Kreivys to have confused public and private interest.

As yet, the Chief Official Ethics Commission (COEC) has not rendered a decision regarding the actions of the Minister of Economy, when he allocated European Union support funds to a company formally owned by him, some shares of which are currently held by the minister’s mother. Therefore, this recent statement made by the President has caused a wave of suspicions and speculations among the public.

Does the President really have anything new to reveal about Kreivys’ alleged illegal activities, or has she once again swung the axe above the heads of politicians in order to raise her own declining ratings? According to Bielinis, a ‘slap in the face’ administered by Grybauskaitė to the Minister of Economy is not merely a rhetorical game. By this utterance, the President has purportedly reacted to political tendencies that are prevalent among the members of the governing majority, thus seeking to maintain her own influence.

“It is correct to say that there is certain opposition forming within the governing majority, which is directed not only against Kreivys, but also against Minister of Environment Gediminas Kazlauskas and Minister of Energy Arvydas Sekmokas”, Bielinis believes. The decisions made by these members of the Government are said to raise many questions, even in the minds of their fellow party members, which, in turn, lead to discussions and disagreements among the members of the governing majority. Also, suspicions related to the increase of some ministers’ wealth during their terms in office are no less important.

Bielinis thinks that President Dalia Grybauskaitė is getting ready for the period following municipal elections, when reforms of both the Government and the governing majority are to be expected.

The political scientist, who in the past has often criticised Grybauskaitė for her less-than-subtle rhetorical improprieties, feels that half-way through the term, the President has gained experience and is not always ‘swinging the axe’ just to increase her ratings. “She seems to have learned using this tool more subtly”, he says.