Smil­tens steps down as deputy head of Unity Saeima fac­tion

The Baltic Times - - BALTIC NEWS - LETA/TBT Staff

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.

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