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2020.01.13 11:50

Seimas group collapses, leaving Lithuania's ruling coalition without majority

Milena Andrukaitytė, BNS2020.01.13 11:50

The political group ‘For Lithuania’s Welfare’ in the Lithuanian parliament, which is part of the ruling coalition, has collapsed after MP Kęstutis Bartkevičius left it.

A parliamentary group requires at least seven members to exist, which ‘For Lithuania's Welfare’ no longer has.

“Since there are no seven members, the group no longer exists and all its members become members of the non-attached group until another group is formed,” Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Rima Baškienė said on Monday.

BNS has not managed to contact Bartkevičius for comment.

Vytautas Kamblevičius, the leader of the group, says Bartkevičius' decision was a surprise for him and he only learned about it during the parliamentary sitting on Monday.

He believes the MP left because “he wanted to be a minister”, but was not offered a post.

Since ‘For Lithuania's Welfare’ was part of the ruling coalition, the government no longer has a majority in the parliament. However, “nothing has changed in terms of votes”, according to MP Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Farmers and Greens Union, the biggest ruling party.

Whether or not the MPs will form a new group, they will still vote with the ruling coalition, Karbauskis told BNS on Monday.

Before the collapse of the ‘For Lithuania's Welfare’ group, the ruling coalition had 74 votes. It now consists of 67 MPs, short of the 71-member majority.

‘For Lithuania's Welfare’ was formed last September from members that had previously belonged to the Order and Justice group.