Smiltens steps down as deputy head of Unity Saeima faction
Edvards Smiltens, vicechairman of the Unity party, has stepped down from the position of the deputy head of the Saeima faction and suspended his candidacy from upcoming election of the party’s chairman, according to his Facebook post.
The Unity party is expected to hold a congress on August 19 to elect a new chairman.
Smiltens said in his statement that he is dissatisfied with the situation that there are two candidates nominated for the party’s chairpersons – he and Saeima faction head Solvita Aboltina. "As we have completely opposing views about further development of the party, the Unity faction has to make the decision on the party’s future and the person they trust," he said.
He is confident that the only possible future for the party lies in radical changes. "I am sure that in order for Unity to develop successfully, it should have a single leader with a clear-cut mandate," he said.
Smiltens said that the decision of the faction will also determine whether he remains in the party. "Either I receive confidence mandate as the party’s leader or I leave the party," he said.
As reported, initially it was planned to hold the congress in September, but Piebalgs recently announced that he will not run for the position of the party’s chairman, and the congress will be held sooner – on August 19.
Smiltens said he would be prepared to run for party leader at the next party congress.