Gediminas Kirkilas

Last updated

Gediminas Kirkilas

Member of the Seimas
Assumed office
25 November 1992
Deputy Speaker of the Seimas
Assumed office
15 November 2016
In office
16 November 2012 14 November 2016
11th Prime Minister of Lithuania
In office
4 July 2006 9 December 2008
President Valdas Adamkus
Preceded by Zigmantas Balčytis (acting)
Succeeded by Andrius Kubilius
Minister of National Defence
In office
14 December 2004 18 July 2006
President Valdas Adamkus
Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas
Preceded by Linas Linkevičius
Succeeded by Juozas Olekas
Chairman of the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania
Assumed office
25 March 2018
Preceded byFirst holder
Personal details
Born (1951-08-30) 30 August 1951 (age 68)
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Political party Communist Party of Lithuania
(before 1990)
Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania
Social Democratic Party of Lithuania
Independent (2017-2018)
Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (since 2018)
Spouse(s)Liudmila Kirkilienė
Signature Lisbon Treaty FA Lithuania Gediminas Kirkilas.png

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


Life and career

Kirkilas was born in Vilnius in 1951. After returning from mandatory military service, from 1972 to 1978 he worked on several cultural monuments (e.g. churches or the Verkiai Palace) restoring their interior and especially rolled gold and molding. In 1978–1982 he studied political science. After graduation, he joined the Communist Party of Lithuania and took various posts there. When Algirdas Brazauskas was appointed 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 to the Seimas seven times, representing the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (in 1992, 1996 and 2000) and the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016). He was appointed the Minister of National Defence 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. Gediminas Kirkilas and Robert M. Gates2.jpg
Gediminas Kirkilas and Robert M. Gates, 1 July 2008.

In July 2007, Kirkilas signed the protocol assigning the members of newly formed governmental work group 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 the name of Darius Jurgelevičius  [ lt ] occurred 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 Januška's 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  [ lt ] the chairman of the State Price and Energy Control Commission spoke about the ties between gas companies and the Prime Minister Kirkilas, saying: "a gas company „Lietuvos dujos“ is privately lobbying G. Kirkilas and the second Lithuanian monopolist gas company Dujotekana  [ lt ] – Ministry of Economics. CEO of Lietuvos dujos, Viktoras Valentukevičius, meets Kirkilas privately to play tennis". [3]

In October 2014, Fair Observer featured an interview with Kirkilas where he spoke on his pro-nuclear energy stance. [4]

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  1. "Europe | Lithuania parliament backs new PM". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. "Europe.view: Stars and soggy bottoms". The Economist. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. 1 2 Jurga Tvaskienė. "Valstybės valdymas prekybininkų principais – DELFI Žinios". Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  4. "Relations With Russia Are Complicated - Fair Observer". Fair Observer. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Zigmantas Balčytis
Prime Minister of Lithuania
Succeeded by
Andrius Kubilius