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Remigijus Žemaitaitis of the Order and Justice Party and Jonas Liesys of the Liberal Movement were appointed on Friday as vice-speakers of the Lithuanian parliament.
Members of the Seimas voted by secret ballot to approve Žemaitaitis for the post, with 76 votes in favor, 12 against and 18 abstentions. Liesys received 76 votes in favor, 10 against and 21 abstentions. Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, nominated the two lawmakers for the posts after the parliament amended on Thursday its statute to increase the maximum number of deputy speakers from five to seven. The amended statute also requires that at least two positions of deputy speakers be given to the opposition.
Irena Degutienė of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) is currently the only opposition lawmaker among the five vice-speakers. The remaining four positions are held by the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) and its minor ruling coalition partner, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labor Party (LSDDP). The proposal to increase the number of deputy speakers came after the Order and Justice earlier this month signed a cooperation agreement with the ruling bloc.