VILNIUS – Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, is renouncing his lawmaker's mandate in protest of the new government's actions during the distribution of positions in the parliament.
"Since I understand that I am one of the problems why the position cannot yield and restore democracy, I will eliminate this problem for the ruling majority to be able to yield and create possibilities for our political group to fully work in the Seimas. My decision is to leave the Seimas," Karbauskis told journalists after the group's meeting on Thursday.
Karbauskis believes talks on positions in the Semas should be restored and the party's previously rejected candidate for a deputy speaker, Ausrine Norkiene, should be nominated once again.
"Everything starts from scratch: everything or nothing. In this case, we are defending the interests of those people those voted for us. We are not the ones robbed in this case, we are committed to those people who voted for us and gave their votes to the LFGU in the first round of voting," Karbauskis said.
"Norkiene has been elected leader of the political group, and I would very much like the Seimas majority to have at least some decency and go back to the original proposal for the Seimas deputy speakers as Norkiene would be nominated again, since there were no arguments against her provided, except for the fact that I nominated her," the LFGU leader said.
Asked whether he would reconsider his resignation under certain circumstances, Karbauskis said he would do that if the ruling block asked him to stay in the Seimas.
He plans to remain in politics "and be even more active then since now as he will have more instruments", saying that the LFGU would form a shadow Cabinet that should be announced in December.
Asked what the LFGU would do if the ruling block did not react to his resignation, Karbauskis said that the party would continue its resistance.
Earlier in the day, the party said Karbauskis and the biggest opposition party made the decision "in protest of the actions of the Seimas leadership and the Seimas majority, which eliminated the biggest opposition political group from the Seimas leadership".
"In the morning already, the group said it refused to take part in the political farce the Seimas leadership and the ruling majority are creating, having lost the political group's trust. Karbauskis will submit his request to the Central Election Commission during its upcoming sitting," the party said in a statement.
Earlier this week, lawmakers rejected Norkiene as a candidate for a deputy speaker but backed the appointment of the other three candidates nominated by the ruling parties and other opposition parties.
After Norkiene was rejected, Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen proposed Julius Sabatauskas of the opposition Social Democratic Party of Lithuania.
Left without representatives in the Seimas leadership, the LFGU plans to turn to the Constitution Court.
Karbauskis served in the 1996-2000, 2000-2004 and 2016–2020 parliaments.