News2019.09.05 13:30

Seimas speaker quits party over feud with its leader

BNS 2019.09.05 13:30

Lithuanian Parliament Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis is leaving his party, the Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), saying he would not consider returning before its current leader resigns.

Pranckietis says he is handing in a letter informing the party's Kaunas District branch about his decision on Thursday evening, a day before the LVŽS council was to consider his expulsion.

“I have written the letter and we are having a meeting of the LVŽS Kaunas District branch tonight, and I will hand in that letter on my withdrawal from the party, and I hope the branch will endorse it,” the speaker of the Seimas told reporters at the parliament on Thursday morning.

Pranckietis added he was taking the step in order not to give the party an opportunity to expel him.

He said he would not return to the party as long as it is led by its existing leader, Ramūnas Karbauskis.

The LVŽS is holding a council meeting on Friday, and the party earlier indicated it would consider expelling Pranckietis for refusing to execute the decisions of the party's board and council.

In July, the LVŽS signed a coalition agreement with three other parties, under which the post of parliament speaker was to be handed over to the Social Democratic Labour Party.

However, Pranckietis refused to step down, accusing Karbauskis of authoritarian rule and saying the move was an act of revenge against him.

The LVŽS ethics and procedures commission ruled in July that Pranckietis did not breach party ethics.

Karbauskis commented at the time that Pranckietis should be expelled for refusing to comply with the party's statute and execute decisions by its ruling bodies.

LVŽS members in parliament have collected signatures to initiate a vote of no confidence in the Seimas speaker, but have not registered a bill yet.

At least 71 Seimas members (out of 141) need to support a no-confidence motion for the speaker to be removed.

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