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Gediminas Kirkilas

Gediminas Kirkilas
11th Prime Minister of Lithuania
In office
4 July 2006 – 9 December 2008
President Valdas Adamkus
Preceded by Zigmantas Balčytis
Succeeded by Andrius Kubilius
Minister of National Defence
In office
14 December 2004 – 18 July 2006
Preceded by Linas Linkevičius
Succeeded by Juozas Olekas
Personal details
Born (1951-08-30) 30 August 1951
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Social Democratic Party of Lithuania
Spouse(s) Liudmila Kirkilienė
Signature

Gediminas Kirkilas (   , born 30 August 1951) is a Lithuanian politician who was Prime Minister of Lithuania from 2006 to 2008. He was appointed on 4 July 2006 after Zigmantas Balčytis, the provisional Prime Minister, failed to gather the required support from the Seimas. Kirkilas managed to get the necessary support from the Seimas on 4 July 2006.[1] He stepped down on 27 November 2008 after the 2008 parliamentary elections, and gave way to Andrius Kubilius to start his term as prime minister.

Life and career

Kirkilas was born in Vilnius in 1951. After he returned from mandatory military service, from 1972 to 1978 he worked in many cultural monuments (e.g. churches or the Verkiai Palace) restoring their interior and especially rolled gold and moldeling. In 1978–1982 he was a student of Political science. After graduation he joined the Communist Party of Lithuania and took various posts there. After Algirdas Brazauskas became the secretary of the party, Kirkilas became his press secretary.

Since independence was declared on 11 March 1990, Kirkilas was involved in the state matters and was elected five times (in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008) to the Seimas under the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania ballot. He became defense minister of Lithuania on 7 December 2004.

In 2004, he received an MBA from the International Business School in Vilnius.

In January 2007 he was praised in The Economist as an unsung hero whose "minority administration has surpassed all expectations".[2]

Criticism and public perception

Gediminas Kirkilas and Robert M. Gates, 1 July 2008.

In July 2007, Kirkilas signed the protocol assigning the members of newly formed governmental workgroup to assist the energy company „Lietuvos energija“ in negotiating and consulting with potential foreign partners for a new Ignalina nuclear power plant project. A public turmoil followed after occurrence of Darius' Jurgelevičius name in the list of the work group. After the so-called State Security Departament scandal in 2006, when a senior officer Vytautas Pociūnas died under controversial circumstances in a hotel in Belarus; the witnesses described Darius Jurgelevičius as a middleman transmitting then Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's clerk Albinas's Januška influence to State Security Departament. Albinas Januška currently works as G. Kirkilas's advisor.[3]

In July 2007, before handing his powers to his successors, Vidmantas Jankauskas the chairman of Governmental prices & energy control commission Valstybinė kainų ir energetikos kontrolės komisija spoke about the ties between gas companies & the Prime Minister G. Kirkilas, saying: a gas company „Lietuvos dujos“ is privately lobbying G. Kirkilas and the second Lithuanian monopilist gas company Dujotekana – Ministry of Economics. Lietuvos dujos, CEO Viktoras Valentukevičius meets Kirkilas privately to play tennis.[3]

In October 2014, Fair Observer featured an interview with he spoke on his pro-nuclear energy stance and said current President Dalia Grybauskaite's foresight in constructing Lithuania's power plant lacked "strategic thinking".

References

  1. ^ "Europe | Lithuania parliament backs new PM". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Europe.view: Stars and soggy bottoms". The Economist. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  3. ^ a b Jurga Tvaskienė. "Valstybės valdymas prekybininkų principais – DELFI Žinios". Delfi.lt. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Zigmantas Balčytis
Prime Minister of Lithuania
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Andrius Kubilius
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