Lithuania's opposition has collected signatures for impeachment of MP Artūras Skardžius of the Social Democratic Labor group who may have confused his public and private interests by taking care of the renewable resource sector.
Artūras Skardžius
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

The initiative has been signed by 37 parliamentarians of the opposition groups of the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats and the Liberal Movement, as well as Seimas Vice-Speaker Arvydas Nekrošius of the ruling Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU).

Under the parliamentary statute, impeachment can be initiated by at least 36 MPs.

The impeachment was initiated after the opposition dismissed as unsatisfactory the conclusions of the parliamentary Anti-Corruption Commission on Skardžius' energy interests.

According to the draft conclusion, Skardžius may have committed a gross violation of the Constitution and his MP oath by "acting for the benefit of a related company Baltic Energy Group in his line of duty in 2009-2017 and supported a mock deal with the company Naujoji Energija, possibly aiming to conceal the true origin of his personal (family) income and links with wind energy, proposing his candidacy and acting in a constant conflict of interest at the parliamentary Energy Commission and the Economic Committee (including the 2016-2020 parliamentary term), thus grossly discrediting and compromising the name and reputation of his as MP and the rest of the parliament."

With the signatures collected, the parliament must set up a special commission to look into the validity of the impeachment process and hand down a conclusion on the grounds to start the process. If the parliament votes in support of the proceedings, the parliament will turn to the Constitutional Court for a conclusion whether the MP breached the oath and the Constitution. Should the court conclude that the violations were committed, the whole parliament must vote to revoke his mandate.

An MP loses a mandate, if at least 85 of Lithuania's 141 parliamentarians vote in support of the revocation.

The parliament's Anti-Corruption Commission last year found that Skardzius had interest in the renewable resource sector, thus possibly confusing his public and private interests.

After the conclusion, Skardžius resigned from the parliamentary Energy Commission.

The parliament recalled him from the Economic Committee and, regardless of objections from the opposition, appointed him to the Environment Protection Committee, which also addresses energy-related laws.

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission, Skardžius' family are involved in energy business, while the Special Investigation Service has told the commission that the amendments he proposed could facilitate exclusive conditions for owners of small-scale solar and wind power plants, as he also had an interest in the businesses.

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