Lithuanian MEP Valentinas Mazuronis said on Tuesday that he was no longer a member of the Order and Justice party, part of the ruling coalition in Lithuania.
Valentinas Mazuronis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"I would like to thank all members of the Šiauliai City and county (party divisions – BNS), all members of the Lithuanian Order and Justice party. I would like to thank my fellow party members with whom we established the party and worked together all those years, including President Rolandas Paksas, for common work. I do hope that we will remain friends with many fellow party members," Mazuronis wrote in a Facebook post, asking not to be considered a member of the Order and Justice party as of Tuesday.

Mazuronis also said he submitted his resignation to Daiva Matonienė, head of the party's division in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania.

Mazuronis' son Andrius left the party earlier. They were both active critics of the party's leader Paksas.

Mazuronis was one of the founders of the party and was its leader in 2002-2003.

Analyst: Mazuronis' exit will weaken the party

Lithuanian MEP Valentinas Maruzonis' decision to leave the ruling Order and Justice party will weaken it, says Professor Mindaugas Jurkynas of Vytautas Magnus University's Faculty of Political Sciences and Diplomacy.

"The Order and Justice party is losing one of its leaders, one of the party's outstanding personalities. It doesn’t mean there will be no others there but, of course, it’s not good for the image of this party," the political scientist told BNS on Tuesday.

According to Jurkynas, other party members will have to work hard to earn public recognition and "the exit of one of the leaders will weaken the party, at least in the short-term".

"It's happening just before the upcoming local elections. People will, of course, remember that and some voters will probably think about it, although people usually consider local personalities during local elections," Jurkynas said.

Mazuronis is likely to join the opposition Liberal Movement, he believes.

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