Lithuanian president refuses to appoint PM’s adviser as economy minister

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has refused to appoint Lukas Savickas, an adviser to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, for the job of economy and innovation minister.

“The president considered Savickas’ candidacy for the post of economy and innovation minister and he made the decision not to approve his nomination,” Antanas Bubnelis, Nausėda’s spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday, suggesting that Savickas’ lack of experience made him unsuitable for the role.

With less than a year until the end of the government’s term, the new minister would not have time to learn on the job and and needs to have decision-making experience, he said.

“In the president’s opinion, there are experienced people in Lithuania who could achieve tangible results over the remaining months,” Bubnelis said.

Skvernelis nominated Savickas on January 24.

In recent months, tensions between PM Skvernelis and President Nausėda centred on Transport Minister Jaroslav Narkevič. The president has called for the minister’s dismissal, but the prime minister has refused to budge.

Savickas, 29, is the prime minister’s adviser on economic affairs and strategic change management. Last year, he was elected to the City Council of Vilnius on the ticket of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, but is not a member of the party.

His past career includes positions at the government’s foreign investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania, and Investors’​ Forum.

The post of economy and innovation minister has been vacant since last December, when Virginijus Sinkevičius took up a job as European commissioner.


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