With an eye on elections, Gintautas Paluckas, chairman of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), wants to pull his party out of the ruling coalition with Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), Ramūnas Karbauskis, the LFGU chairman, said on Wednesday.
Ramūnas Karbauskis, Tomas Tomilinas and Gintautas Paluckas
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"As far as I understand, the Social Democratic Party's new chairman wants his party to leave the coalition. This is primarily attributable to municipal and other elections, certainly not to the work in the Seimas," Karbauskis said on the Žinių Radijas radio station.

Lithuania will hold presidential, European Parliament and municipal elections in 2019 and will elect a new national parliament in 2020.

Based on the latest information, 20 LSDP branches have voted in favor of withdrawing from the ruling coalition. Two branches propose to continue working with the LFGU and another two call for renegotiating the coalition agreement. The remaining 36 LSDP branches have not yet stated their position.

Karbauskis thinks that a final decision on staying in the coalition should be made by the LSDP political group in the Seimas, rather than by its branches.

He said that the government would continue working if the LSDP, the junior partner, pulled out of the coalition.

The coalition's fate was put into question after the LFGU signed a deal with the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats for the opposition party's support for the government's state forestry sector reform overhaul.

Paluckas expects his party to decide on whether or not to withdraw from the coalition in late September.

Andrius Palionis, head of the LSDP political group in the Seimas, says that 13 out of the group's 19 members want to stay in the coalition.

The LFGU political group has 56 members in the 141-seat Seimas. The Social Democrats have 19 seats in the parliament and the posts of economy, foreign and justice ministers in the Cabinet. Economy Minister Mindaugas Sinkevičius and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius have said recently that the Social Democrats should not leave the coalition.

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