By blocking the opposition's attempts to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session, the ruling coalition is trying to shift the focus away from problems faced by the incumbent government, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Wednesday.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

"It looks very much like manipulation with democratic instruments, aimed at shifting the focus away from the problems that have hit the ruling majority," the president told the national radio LRT.

Earlier on Wednesday, votes of majority MPs were decisive in blocking the agenda of the planned extraordinary parliamentary session.

The opposition initiated the extraordinary session to try to launch an impeachment procedure against Labour Party MP Vytautas Gapšys, sentenced in the party's fraudulent bookkeeping case. The opposition also wanted to set up a special group to investigate the provenance of almost €7 million that the Labour Party failed to include in its accounting books almost a decade ago.

The opposition also called on launching parliamentary investigations into possible corruption in the government.

When the parliament voted down the proposed agenda, the opposition called the ruling block's actions "a dangerous precedent" of tampering with democracy. Opposition MPs say the extraordinary parliamentary session is not finished and should be continued next week, as planned.

The opposition are also inviting Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Speaker of the Seimas Loreta Graužinienė, representing the Labour Party, to explain the situation.

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