PM proposes cabinet members for Lithuanian gov't

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Lithuania's appointed Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday unveiled his list of proposed cabinet members of the upcoming government.

"Today, I have proposed 14 names of the candidates," Skvernelis told journalists on Thursday.

The proposed list reflects the major reshuffle in the country's government and the idea of a technocratic government by the Peasant and Greens Union (LVZS), the winners of the country's parliamentary elections.

Four out of 14 proposed candidates are the members of the coalition parties: three social democrats and one member of LVZS. Skvernelis who led LVZS to the victory is non-partisan.

Two members of the outgoing government have been proposed for the new cabinet. Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, the social democrat backed by the president, is probably to continue his service.

Rokas Masiulis, a non-partisan energy minister, who orchestrated the country's efforts to establish energy independence, has been proposed for the transport and communications ministry.

Raimundas Karoblis, the deputy foreign minister at the outgoing government and Lithuania's former representative to the EU, is probably to take care of the national defense. According to local media, the Lithuanian president was allowed to choose the candidate for the defense and foreign ministers.

Vilius Sapoka, economist and the former head of financial services and markets supervision at the Bank of Lithuania, has been proposed for the post of finance minister.

The mayor of Jonava district in central Lithuania Mindaugas Sinkevicius, 32, a member of the social democratic party, is the candidate to become the minister of economy. Zygimantas Vaiciunas, Lithuania's energy attache in Brussels, has been proposed for the post of energy minister.

Liana Ruokyte-Jonsson, a culture diplomat, actor, translator, is the candidate for the ministers of culture. LVZS has put culture among the most important fields.

LVZS, the leaders of the ruling coalition, have proposed 11 out 14 ministerial candidates. The Social Democratic Party (LSDP), the leaders of the outgoing government and the partners in the new coalition, lost the parliamentary elections and were left to propose three posts in the government.

According to Lithuanian constitution, the president appoints the ministers proposed by the prime minister. Following the president's approval, the cabinet and its program are subject to approval by the Seimas, Lithuanian parliament.

On Thursday, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite started series of personal meetings with the ministerial candidates before approving the cabinet.

The new cabinet is expected to take the office early December. Enditem

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