Head of Lithuania's CEC steps down after election criticism

  • 2023-03-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Jolanta Petkeviciene, chair of Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission, announced her decision to resign on Tuesday.

"I would like to announce my resignation as chair of the CEC," Petkeviciene told lawmakers today.

She also apologized to Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen for not informing her of her resignation.

"I am very sorry for not discussing this issue with the Seimas speaker behind closed doors because nowadays any call, any meeting behind closed doors can be interpreted differently, talked about and so on. I certainly did not discuss it with anyone, I just have to go home today and take care of my family," Petkeviciene said.

On Tuesday, the CEC chair answered lawmakers' questions on problems related to the organization of the municipal elections held early this month. Petkeviciene mostly came under fire over the mayoral elections in Anyksciai and Visaginas where candidates Kestutis Tubis in Anyksciai and Dalia Straupaite in Visaginas, who both made it into the runoff, were initially removed as candidates and later reinstated.

Speaking with reporters later, Petkeviciene said her decision to resign had not been influenced by the allegations of election irregularities.

"Not at all," she said when asked to what extent politicians' reproaches had influenced her resignation.

"I had been thinking about it even before the start of the political campaign, but my family now needs me more than the Central Electoral Commission," Petkeviciene said.

Now MPs will have to vote on her resignation.