Opposition calls for new election following failed impeachment

  • 2010-11-16
  • TBT Staff

Karalius was the only one of the two who was stripped of his position in parliament.

VILNIUS - Lithuania's opposition parties have called for new elections following the parliament's failure to impeach both of the men involved in a substitute voting scandal earlier this year.

“It’s obvious that the Seimas is in a crisis,” Vytautas Gapsys, head of the Labor group in parliament, said in a statement. “Such a parliament as we have now cannot continue working.”

Linas Karalius and Aleksandr Sacharuk were found guilty of violating article 59 of the constitution, which states that they must uphold their oaths as MPs, by the Constitutional Court in late October. Karalius 36, had skipped a number of parliamentary sessions in favor of extending his vacation in Thailand. Fellow MP Sacharuk then used Karalius' MP card to cover for his absence by voting in his stead.

In a vote at the end of last week only Karalius was stripped from his post, while Sacharuk will be allowed to remain in parliament.

“This is the darkest day in Lithuania’s parliamentary history,” Egidijus Kuris, a former Constitutional Court chief justice, said on LRT television after the vote.

Labor Party member Loreta Grauziniene said that elections should be held as early as February. Social Democrats leader Algirdas Butkevicius has also thrown his support behind early elections.

Karalius was a member of the coalition, but Sacharuk had joined the opposition Christian party.