Liberal Movement is not splitting up, leader says
Lithuania's Liberal Movement's members are not walking out on the party, its leader Eugenijus Gentvilas says after several party branches decided to take part in the forthcoming municipal election by establishing election committees instead of party lists.
Gentvilas believes the opposition Liberal Movement should become a liberal alternative to the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.
"I'm waiting for that day when the process of announcing candidate lists for the municipal election ends, and then we'll see what the Liberal Movement situation is. In my opinion, it's complicated but is not leading to any disaster. It's leading to an election campaign when we'll show that we are that liberal alternative to the antidemocratic governance methods we now see across Lithuania," Gentvilas told the party's council meeting in Kaunas on Saturday.
He acknowledged the fact that the existing period is hard for the liberals but added that the existing political situation is beneficial for a party spreading the values of liberty and liberalism.
Speaking about the situation with the party's branches, he said only several party branches decided to establish election committees for the upcoming municipal election, and called on the remaining party branches to step up the publication of party candidate lists.
Gentvilas also concluded that the party's branch in Vilnius split after the local branch decided to establish an election committee for the municipal election, instead of standing for election representing the party.
Also on Saturday, the Liberal Movement adopted guidelines for the municipal election, introduced candidates for the European Parliament and their rating system. The party had planned to endorse the candidates but lacked majority.
Lithuania will hold municipal and mayoral elections in March and will elect its members of the European Parliament in May.