Seimas removes revocation of Pūkas' MP mandate from agenda

Kęstutis Pūkas

The Lithuanian parliament's meeting of elders decided to remove the bid to revoke the mandate of MP Kęstutis Pūkas from the plenary agenda.

"They decided not to address it. Pūkas' lawyer said she had left for Argentina, with tickets purchased in mid-December. He said on Jan. 9 she would be present, although he knew she would be leaving in two days," Eugenijus Gentvilas, elder of the political group of the Liberal Movement, told BNS on Friday morning.

Pukas told BNS on Thursday he had sent a written notification to the parliament about his lawyer Rasa Ručienė's absence from the impeachment process.

The MP did not specify when he found out about Ručienė's trip.

"I am not very familiar with my lawyer's affairs," Pūkas said.

Jan. 12 was set as the date for the vote of the cancellation of the vote before Christmas.

On Friday, the parliament was planned to vote on revocation of Pūkas' mandate over sexual harassment allegations after the Constitutional Court ruled he had breached his oath and violated the Constitution. The MP is suspected of sexually harassing a number of females who had applied to work as his assistants.

A special parliamentary commission has concluded that the parliamentarian discredited the reputation of the state and of the Seimas as he "undermined the dignity of" a female assistant of his and female applicants for the job of secretary-assistant "by his actions, words and non-verbal communication" and that he discriminated against the women because of their social status.

Prosecutors have brought sexual harassment and undue weapon possession suspicions against Pūkas. Four persons have been listed as victims in the sexual harassment probe.

Pūkas won his MP mandate through the list of the Order and Justice party. If his mandate is revoked, his post would be filled by former MP Ona Valiukevičiūtė who has already served three terms between 2004 and 2016.

Since Lithuania regained independence in 1990, the parliament held three impeachments: Rolandas Paksas was ousted from the President's Office for granting the Lithuanian citizenship to his sponsor and revoked mandates of Linas Karalius and Neringa Venckienė for non-attendance of meetings.

Source: BNS
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