VILNIUS – Antanas Guoga is resigning as a member of the Lithuanian parliament, the head of the Central Electoral Commission confirmed on Tuesday.
"After 4 p.m. (on Tuesday), we received MP Guoga's request to cancel his mandate of a member of the Seimas" as of January 14, Laura Matjosaityte told BNS.
The MP said he was resigning "of his own free will" and asked the election watchdog to convene a meeting so that he could read out his request, according to her.
Guoga, who ran for parliament with the Lithuanian Labor Party, wrote on Facebook that he was resigning because he saw no possibility to deliver on his election promises.
"People elected me to the Seimas on the Labor Party's list. (...) I'm leaving, first of all, because I don't want to mislead these people. I feel a great responsibility toward them, but at the same time, I see that with the Labor Party it is impossible to deliver what they were promised before the election," he said.
"There are decent, smart and energetic people in the Labor Party. However, they are all held hostage by one individual today," Guoga said, in an apparent reference to MEP Viktor Uspaskich, the party's chairman.
Guoga said he believes in facts and criticized the Labor Party's chairman for his claims about vaccination and water that "cures" COVID-19.
Earlier on Tuesday, he also called on Uspaskich to apologize for his recent homophobic remarks.
In a video message posted on his Facebook page last Sunday, Uspaskich called LGBT people "perverts".
Dacian Ciolos, leader of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, sent an email the Lithuanian MEP, demanding that he apologize and warning him that he may be expelled from the group.
In Lithuania, Uspaskich has recently come under fire for advertising mineral water that he claims can cure COVID-19.
Guoga would be replaced in the Seimas by Arturas Skardzius, the next-in-line candidate on the opposition Labor Party's list in last autumn's parliamentary election.