VILNIUS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) is to leave the ruling coalition, decided the party's governing council in a vote on Saturday, following months of tensions with the major coalition partner the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVZS).
Totally 140 out of 195 participating members of the LSDP's council voted to end the coalition with the LVZS, 46 voted against and nine abstained, the social democratic party officially announced on Saturday.
Following Saturday's vote, Gintautas Paluckas, the leader of LSDP, vowed the Social Democratic Party is to compete at the parliament's opposition with the conservative party the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), currently the parliament's biggest opposition party.
Following LSDP's retreat, the current government is to work as a minority government. Paluckas says LSDP's exit will only improve the work of the government.
"However, democracy needs consensus. The minority government will have to look for it more often," Paluckas was quoted as saying by news website delfi.lt.
In recent months, tensions have emerged in the ruling coalition with LVZS complaining for the lack of support from LSDP, while LSDP accused the major coalition partner for ignoring LSDP's proposals.
In response to the news, the leaders of LVZS said they expected to continue cooperation with the LSDP's members at the parliament. Ramunas Karbauskis, the leader of LVZS, said he respects the decision of LSDP's governing council, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the actual changes can happen in the ruling coalition.
Recently, ministers delegated by the LSDP and its members at the parliament expressed willingness to stay in the ruling coalition.
LVZS, the leaders of the ruling coalition and the biggest party in Lithuanian parliament, has 56 members in the 141-seat parliament, while LSDP has 17 seats.
At the country's government, LVZS has 11 ministers and three ministers are delegated by LSDP.
On Saturday, Karbauskis told the Lithuanian national radio LRT that LVZS has no intentions to replace the ministers delegated to the government by LSDP. Earlier, Saulius Skvernelis, prime minister of Lithuania, said the ministers delegated by LSDP could continue working even if LSDP governing council decided to leave the ruling coalition.
LSDP and LVZS formed a ruling coalition following the parliamentary elections last October.