SocDems' leader to attempt persuading rebels into changing position
Gintautas Paluckas, the leader of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, will try to persuade the party's rebellious members to reconsider their position and obey the party's decision to avoid expulsion from the organization over signing an agreement with the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.
"My main objective is to persuade them into changing their opinion, as this is the council's decision and implementation of the council's decision, (…) but everyone is free to make an individual decision," Paluckas told journalists at the parliament on Thursday.
He spoke after a meeting with MP Julius Sabatauskas, the only MP who abstained during the political group's vote on joint activities of the Social Democratic and LFGU political groups.
Asked to specify the reasons for meeting Sabatauskas who did not sign the deal with LFGU, Paluckas replied: "I speak to everyone whenever I have time."
"So far, we are all on one side – everyone is a member of the party, everyone is a member of the political group and this will continue until the party's council makes one decision or another," said the leader.
At the end of September, the Social Democratic Party's council decided to leave the ruling coalition with the LFGU, however, nine of the party's parliamentarians opposed the council's will and voted for continued cooperation with the Farmers and Greens Union. Five MPs voted against, while Sabatauskas was the only one to abstain.
The party's ethics watchdogs want them expelled from the party, a decision to be made by the council on Saturday.