PM hints that Uspaskich should step down

  • 2006-05-30
  • By TBT staff
VILNIUS - Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas suggested that Viktor Uspaskich step down as leader of the ruling Labor Party in an interview with Ziniu Radijas news radio on May 25.

Brazauskas, who leads the Social Democrats, told Ziniu Radijas that, although he lacked sufficient information on the current Labor Party investigation, the suspicions were "highly serious" and would "require extensive efforts" to dispel.
"If the suspicions remain, the coalition will look very bad," the PM said.

A number of coalition partners agree that Uspaskich should leave his current post, Brazauskas added. "The issue is being discussed now, and will be further discussed at our presidium. I do not want to foretell events, but our party and our coalition parties are leaning toward the same outcome."

According to the press, prosecutors are investigating bribery rumors among Labor Party officials. Members of the party, which is the largest in Lithuania, allegedly accepted bribes for EU support. The State Security Department is investigating whether the party has received funds from off-shore Russian companies. Uspaskich is currently in Moscow for personal reasons.

"The situation in Parliament is unstable today," Brazauskas said. "The new group is not sure who they want to cooperate with, our three-party coalition no longer has the majority, there are too few of us, and the minority government has come up against many difficulties."

Representatives of the ruling coalition partners - the Social Democrats and the National Farmers 's earlier predicted that Labor Party suspicions would affect the future of the coalition as a whole.

Law enforcement agencies have already interrogated a handful of Labor Party members and searched the party's headquarters last week.