Ingrida Šimonytė, from the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, leader of the Liberal Movement and Aušrinė Armonaitė leader of the Freedom Party are poised to blaze a new trail for the Lithuanian people.
While the three leaders have played down expectations and openly proclaim that they do not have superpowers, one cannot deny that there is something special about this coalition. Each leader brings certain virtues to the table. Political analysts suggest that they will make a formidable team and will get the job done. Time will tell.
There are many challenges ahead. COVID-19, the economy, NATO, Belarus, the nuclear plant station and human rights. Most certainly, the leaders together with their candidates for the cabinet, have their work cut out for them, but they also have the necessary skill sets and experience to tackle these tasks.
The candidates nominated for Minister, are as follows:
Ministry of Environment: Simonas Gentvilas;
Ministry of Energy: Dainius Kreivys;
Ministry of Economy and Innovation: Aušrinė Armonaitė;
Ministry of Finance: Gintarė Skaistė;
Ministry of National Defense: Arvydas Anušauskas;
Ministry of Culture: Simonas Kairys;
Ministry of Social Security and Labor: Monika Navickienė;
Ministry of Transport and Communications: Kasparas Adomaitis;
Ministry of Health: Arūnas Dulkys;
Ministry of Education, Science and Sports: Jurgita Šiugždinienė;
Ministry of Justice: Evelina Dobrovolska;
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Gabrielius Landsbergis;
Ministry of the Interior: Agnė Bilotaitė.
High up on watchlist is the the feud between the global Jewish community and Turto bankas who wish to build a conference center on the Shnipishok Jewish cemetery, the location of which makes up the resting place for more than 50,000 Jewish souls.
Activists have strongly opposed the construction of a conference center on the holy ground. Although the tombstones were desecrated during the Russian occupation after the Second World War, leaders of Jewish communities have moved to restore the cemetery to its former glory with the aim of establishing it as an attraction to communities from across the globe.
An estimated 23 million Euros has been included in the budget for the development of the conference center. That allocation is scheduled to come before the budget for appraisal on November 24, 2020.
Seimas member Kęstutis Masiulis is leading an initiative to scuttle the 23 million Euro allocation for the conference center. Kęstutis Masiulis believes that the allocation is financially unsound.
Seimas member, Kęstutis Masiulis states:
“Even if many sums are invested, this old building cannot be redone to meet the requirements. It will be inferior in any cost-benefit analysis, and thus will have trouble competing in the global market which schedules events and conferences. It will not yield the desired benefit but rather its maintenance will be costly and will deplete the state’s budget. After a few years, all will acknowledge that a new building is needed because this old building doesn’t meet modern requirements.”
Mr Masiulis’ stance has been applauded by analysts saying that his economic foresight and pragmatism hit the mark.
Human rights activists and Jewish groups are hoping that the dispute can be put to bed.
A public poll on Twitter shows overwhelming support to nix the conference center plan. Time will no doubt decide whether Kęstutis Masiulis is on the right side of history. World acclaimed spiritual leaders from all faiths believe he is.
Politicians in the know have also indicated that the new ruling coalition is more receptive to an amicable settlement, than their predecessors. Many political analysts contend that the manner in which the new Lithuanian government handle the Sports Palace cemetery controversy, will in many ways be a barometer for how effective they will be, in leading the country and in determining the important decisions which need to be executed.