Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Loreta Graužinienė has resigned as leader of the Labour Party, the party announced on Tuesday.
According to the politician, she made the move "taking personal responsibility for the results of the recent local elections," according to a brief statement.
Ten percent of voters voted for the Labour Party in Lithuania during the recent municipal elections, and the party lagged behind the Social Democrats, the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats and the Liberal Movement.
The Labour Party secured 148 council seats and will not have a single councillor in the biggest cities of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. The party's mayoral candidates won in three out of 60 municipalities.
Graužinienė is currently on a visit to Ukraine. BNS has not been able to contact her for comment.
PM: Graužinienė's resignation will not affect ruling coalition
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has said that Graužinienė's decision to resign as leader of the Labour Party, which is part of the ruling coalition, will not affect the coalition's work.
"I think it will not," he told journalists on Tuesday when asked about the possible effect of Graužinienė's resignation on the ruling coalition.
The prime minister also sees no reason why Graužinienė should not continue as speaker of the Seimas.
"I don’t think so," Butkevičius said, asked whether Graužinienė should resign from her existing position. "I can say the speaker of the Seimas is a completely different person, in charge of the organization of the parliament's work, and if the party has trust in that personal and that person is capable of working, it's really much easier to work in such a responsible position without leading the party at the same time, as one has more time for that."
The prime minister also acknowledged that Graužinienė's resignation was unexpected for him. "It was little unexpected, of course. But every party's leader has to make one or the other decision after every elections, if they were bad, but that decision should better be made after discussions within the party," he said.