Guoga leaves Liberal Movement, Vilnius mayor to vie for party chairmanship

Antanas Guoga
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“I have made the difficult decision to leave the Liberal Movement. I have already sent a request to the party branch and the board about my resignation. I have no plans of holding on to posts. If my colleagues see no possibilities of working together, I will not be an obstacle for their further operations,” Guoga said on his Facebook wall on Tuesday.

The party’s spokesman Martynas Čerkauskas told BNS that Guoga’s resignation letter was received on Tuesday.

According to the document, he is leaving the Liberal Movement as of May 17.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Liberal Movement’s deputy chairman Gintaras Steponavičius said the party’s board would discuss expelling Guoga for inappropriate statements in the wake of corruption suspicions that befell the party.

The motion so expel Guoga out of the party was proposed by the Liberal Movements board member Julija Mackevič.

Last week, investigators said they were investigating bribe-taking and influence peddling suspicions against Liberal leader Eligijus Masiulis. He subsequently stepped down from the party’s leadership, which was temporarily entrusted to Masiulis first deputy, Guoga.

Immediately after the news broke last Thursday, Guoga posted a statement on social media, saying that Masiulis should admit all wrongdoing, if there was any, and that Guoga himself would have never accepted a bribe.

He later raised some eyebrows by announcing plans to sell of his businesses in Lithuania and to build a church. Guoga has also suggested that leaders of all political parties should take a lie detector test.

On Monday, Guoga also said during a radio interview that other members of the Liberal Movement could have been bound by untoward relations with big business.

Vilnius mayor to seek leadership

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius seems like the most likely candidate to lead the party.

Leading liberals agreed on Tuesday that Šimašius would run for chairmanship in June, while vice-chairman Eugenijus Gentvilas would seek to lead the candidate list for October’s general elections.

“The Liberals are determined to work and win back the confidence of the people of Lithuania. I have made a very important decision – I will run for leadership of the Liberal Movement because I feel responsible before my party fellows and all of our supporters,” Šimašius said in a press release circulated by the party on Tuesday.

Election of the Liberal Movement’s leader is scheduled for June 11.

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