The PM and party Chairman Algirdas Butkevičius unexpectedly declared during a party council meeting that he is resigning from the post of chairman. This was motivated by criticisms from some party members.
“I said that I can take political responsibility, I clearly stressed earlier that I will not avoid it and will act responsibly. Since today we heard from some party members that we should hold a vote of no confidence in the chairman, specifically from professor Sakalas and from Birutė Vėsaitė, then in a democratic manner it has to be put to a vote. But it wasn’t. I then decided on it, that the results are poor and such proposals, not breaching democracy, party statute, I said I can resign,” spoke Butkevičius.
Party Honorary Chairman Aloyzas Sakalas, who proposed to put party confidence in Butkevičius to the test says that the PM is more liberal than Social Democrat.
“In my opinion he has to choose if he’s a Social Democrat or not, he has still not decided,” said Sakalas.
Though the absolute majority of the SocDem council members voted for Butkevičius to remain the party leader, one did vote against it. He said he was surprised that his fellow members did not allow A. Butkevičius to resign.
“It is a question of political culture, across the world chairmen of parties that lose elections resign and we had to make the decision to agree with the resignation, he had to resign earlier,” explained Romas Turonis, a member of the Vilnius Social Democrat branch.
Butkevičius declared that he will remain as party chairman, but will not run for the post in the May election. He has led the party since 2009.
The Social Democrats won only 17 mandates in the recent elections, but began discussions on starting a coalition with the victors, the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union.