Armonaitė, Šimašius leave Lithuania's Liberal Movement
Both liberals are leaving the party following disagreements with its leadership over its Vilnius branch's decision to establish an election committee instead of producing a party list of candidates for the upcoming local election.
"I was a member of the Liberal Movement and took on responsibility during the most difficult time for the party and became its chairman when we had to pull the party out of a very difficult situation. I will probably remain a liberal for the rest of my life. But today I am leaving the Liberal Movement," Šimašius announced his decision on Facebook.
Speaking with BNS Lithuania on Friday, Armonaitė, head of the party's Vilnius division, confirmed the fact that she's leaving the Liberal Movement political group in the Seimas, saying that liberalism "is a consistent and dynamic system of political ideas", which needs to be open to new things and show respect for diversity.
"Unfortunately, the existing party membership does not allow reaching these goals. The party leadership is focused on looking for rivals (or foes probably) among fellow party members, discussing mutual relations in the media, and the party's bureaucracy was aimed at weakening fellow party members. Not to mention the fact that part of the Seimas liberals' "pro-LFGU" line still receives support," Armonaitė said in a statement.
She underlined, however, that despite liberals' internal disagreements, "Lithuania needs liberalism like air", therefore, she plans to continue her political work.
Lithuania will hold a municipal election in March.