VILNIUS – Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis plans on Thursday to hand in his letter and inform the Kaunas District branch of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union about his decision to leave the party.
"I have written the letter and we are having a meeting of the LFGU's Kaunas District branch tonight, and I will hand in that letter on my withdrawal from the party, and I hope the branch will endorse it," the Seimas speaker told journalists at the parliament on Thursday.
He says he's taking this step not to give the party an opportunity to expel him. Pranckietis also said he would return to the party if it was not led by its existing leader Ramunas Karbauskis.
The LFGU is holding a council meeting on Friday, and the party earlier voiced plans to consider the issue of Pranckietis' expulsion as he fails to implement decisions of the party's board and council.
In July, the Council of the LFGU endorsed a coalition of four parties and under the agreement, the FFGU hands over the position of the Seimas speaker to its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Labor Party of Lithuania.
But Pranckietis has refused to step down, saying that his position was handed over to the SDLP in revenge.
The LFGU's ethics and procedures commission ruled in July that Pranckietis did not breach ethics. The party's leader Karbauaksis said at the time Pranckietis should be expelled from the party as he failed to comply with the party's statute and that party members must implement its program, comply with the statute, execute decisions by its ruling bodies etc.
The LFGU has already collected signatures to initiate a vote of no confidence in the Seimas speaker but have not registered a necessary bill.
At least 71 Seimas members needs to vote in favor during a no-confidence vote for the speaker to be removed.