It looks like Kęstutis Pūkas, the MP who couldn’t refrain from sexually charged comments (as well as other forms of harassment) in front of two young women who came to him looking for work, will not be able to escape impeachment proceedings this time.
According to the women, who were applying for positions as parliamentary assistants, Pūkas asked them very personal, intimate questions, invited them to his apartment at the official residential bloc for MPs and quipped that “it would be fun to have a roll around in bed.”
The situation of the MP, who admitted to inappropriate conduct but showed no remorse, was debated at the Parliamentary Commission for Ethics and Procedures.
The Commission unanimously agreed to ask Parliament to launch impeachment proceedings against Pūkas. Such proceedings are used to remove MPs who have seriously violated the Constitution or their oaths as members of Parliament, or who have committed a crime in office.
Prior to the hearing, the Commission was approached by 46 NGOs requesting that impeachment proceedings begin against MP Pūkas. A petition in support of starting the impeachment process was created by the Centre for Equality Advancement and the Human Rights Institute and has been signed by over 2,000 people.
NGOs gather in front of Parliament
While the Commission was debating Pūkas’s conduct, the NGOs organized a protest in front of the Seimas (the Lithuanian Parliament).
“We are gathered here today to show our support for the young women who dared to speak out. We aim to have impeachment proceedings started against Mr. Pūkas. Sexual harassment cannot be tolerated or taken lightly,” claimed Natalija Bitiukova of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, who was one of the organizers of the protest.
The speaker of the Parliament, Viktoras Pranckietis, also urged Pūkas to relinquish his seat without waiting for formal impeachment proceedings, but the latter adamantly refuses to accept responsibility, claiming that he will not be leaving Parliament without impeachment.
You can sign the petition to support impeachment proceedings against Pūkas here.