Lithuanian MP Vytautas Gapšys of the Labour Party has handed a request to the Central Electoral Commission to terminate his mandate as of August 3.

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Vytautas Gapšys
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Gapšys, who is suspected of influence peddling, has said he will continue to head his party's election headquarters and dedicate all of his time to meetings with voters.

He announced his decision to leave the parliament during a meeting of the Labour Party's council a week ago. Lithuanian prosecutors suspect Gapšys of taking €25,000 in bribe from MG Baltic vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis. However, Gapšys cannot not be prosecuted, because he is shielded by legal immunity as an MP. Prosecutors have already turned to the parliament with a request to cancel his immunity.

Gapšys said his decision to keep the mandate for a while after the publication of the suspicions came in an effort to avoid speculations that he stepped down to escape justice.

Meanwhile, MP Kęstas Komskis, the head of the ad hoc parliamentary commission set up to consider lifting Gapšys' immunity, has said that the MP had suddenly decided to give up his mandate to keep some of the investigation materials from going public.

The Central Electoral Commission said the procedure after handing the request to terminate a mandate is simple – Gapšys will have to confirm his plans to give up the mandate during a meeting.

Alytus politician Aurimas Truncė, the likely candidate to replace Gapšys in parliament, said he had not yet decided on becoming an MP, saying he would make the decision after returning from holiday later this week.

The nearest general election is scheduled for October 9.

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