The Members of the Seimas assembled to the regular 8th (spring) session of the Seimas on 10 March 2012. On this occasion, they were welcomed by the Speaker of the Seimas Mrs Irena Degutienė.
The Head of the Parliament invited everyone to focus on the completion of the last session of the Seimas of 2008-2012* and make joint decisions on the strategically important energy projects, and noted that it does not do the country any good when the government is reshuffled with only half a year remaining before the election**.
The Speaker of the Seimas predicted that this session would be a complicated one: Although it is still quite chilly outside, we already feel that this session will be full of hot debates like never before due to, first of all, the upcoming parliamentary election and a rather aggressive pre-election campaign which unfortunately has started earlier than ever, and secondly, crucial energy projects which could determine the development of our country in the long-run and consolidate our independence.
Indicating the effective and efficient work of the Ad Hoc Seimas Commission of Inquiry to Investigate the Situation in the Public Limited Liability Company Bank Snoras in Bankruptcy and especially the Seimas Anticorruption Commission, the Speaker of the Seimas underlined that the inter-session period had also been as heated as never before and described it as the most conspicuous period of our parliamentary control.
Mrs Degutienė regretted that crucial energy projects would be deliberated in a very difficult and tense political period. However, she expressed her hopes that despite political fervour, interests, and the upcoming election, the Members of the Seimas will find the inner strength to consider the projects strategically important for the country not according to their division into coalition vs. opposition, allied vs. non-allied, and party vs. political group, but from a much larger national perspective.
This is all very important because these projects are crucial in terms of geopolitical importance and the time and funds necessary to carry out the works. This makes them long-term projects, and therefore, their continuation after the parliamentary election can only be ensured through the joint work of us all.
The Speaker of the Seimas also asked the Members of the Seimas not to resume the faulty practice in the run-up to the election when some decisions to be taken in the plenary session, committees, or commissions are being blocked by leaving the place of work and thus disrupting the quorum.
The Speaker underlined that she did not have any particular leverages to prevent this negative phenomenon in the Seimas of this legislative period, except asking the Members to avoid it. However, Mrs Degutienė highlighted that if the Seimas adopted the draft Law on Guarantees of the Activities of a Member of the Seimas in this session and thus enforced the provision whereby the salary of a Member of the Seimas who is absent from a plenary sitting or a commission or committee sitting without a justifiable reason is cut respectively, the Seimas of the next legislative period would probably renounce this unhealthy practice.
Therefore, I invite everyone to overcome the accumulated personal and party tensions, focus on crucial tasks important for both the country and its citizens, and conclude this session and legislative period of the Seimas with dignity, said the Speaker of the Seimas Mrs Degutienė concluding her speech at the opening of the session.
Secretariat of the Speaker of the Seimas
Dalius Stancikas, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, Tel. (+370 5) 239 6362; 698 42237
* The legislative period of the Seimas of 2008-2012 ends this autumn.
**Due to political tension related to the decision of the Minister of Interior to dismiss the heads of the Financial Crime Investigation Service from their posts, discussions on the possible split of the ruling coalition and even early election have started.