After submission of the 2018 budget draft, the party issued a statement, saying that its opinion about the government-proposed draft of state and municipal budgets was positive regardless of some shortcomings.
LSDP leader Gintautas Paluckas said that the party was only declaring support to the budget draft in the first phase only, meaning that it would still be discussed in parliamentary committees before going back to the government. In his words, the party’s presidium will decide on how the MPs will behave during the adoption phase.
“The party’s presidium is meeting next week, and we will say all of this after a discussion,” Paluckas said when asked whether the opposition party would support the adoption of the budget.
During the Thursday’s ballot on some of the laws of the budget package, votes in support came from the MPs who objected the party’s decision to transfer to the opposition but also the obedient Social Democrats, including the leader of the Social Affairs and Labor Committee’s chairman Algirdas Sysas and the leader of the Committee for Legal Affairs, Julius Sabatauskas.
The LSDP council in late September decided to pull out of the ruling coalition, however, the objecting members of the party’s political group signed a cooperation agreement with the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union against the party’s will. LSDP ethics guards dismissed the move as a slap on the face, proposing to expel them from the party but some of the disobedient members, including former leaders Algirdas Butkevičius and Gediminas Kirkilas, left the party before the expulsion vote.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats supporting the party’s position are founding a new political group but are yet to collect the necessary signatures. A political group must include at least seven MPs.