2020.04.27 14:42

Social Democrats leave opposition deal over ‘political squabbling’

BNS 2020.04.27 14:42

The Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) has announced it is leaving the opposition cooperation deal with the liberals and the conservatives in parliament.

Gintautas Paluckas, the LSDP leader, says the other two parties have been engaging in “political squabbling” rather than constructive opposition. Moreover, the social democrats oppose recent proposals from the liberals to loosen worker protection.

“The conservatives' political conduct in the run-up to [next autumn's parliamentary] election is becoming increasingly harsh and antagonising, while constructive proposals are few and far in between,” Paluckas said in a comment to BNS, adding that the decision to withdraw from the cooperation agreement was made by the LSDP board.

“We do not want to be identified with actions and proposals such as the latest ones regarding the Labour Code,” he said. “Let the conservatives and the liberals speak on their own behalf, and we will speak on ours.”

Last week, MPs of the Liberal Movement proposed amendments to the Labour Code allowing the so-called zero-hour contracts. The proposal has been harshly criticised by trade unions as an attempt to use the coronavirus crisis to loosen worker protection.

The cooperation agreement among the parliamentary groups of the LSDP, the conservative Homeland Union and the Liberal Movement was signed in March 2019.

As part of the deal, the leaders of the three groups were to take turns holding the post of opposition leader.

Gabrielius Landsbergis of the Homeland Union took over position in March, replacing Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen of the liberals.

The opposition leader enjoys certain additional rights and sits on the Board of the Seimas.

The conservatives hold 36 seats in the Seimas, the liberals have ten and the Social Democrats have nine.