Edvards Smiltens had begun his own leadership bid (his second, after an unsuccessful run against Andris Piebalgs last year), but ultimately withdrew at a party congress on August 19 to give Aseradens a clear run in a leadership contest for the already embattled party.
On August 21 Smiltens posted his resignation letter to Twitter.
Šodien oficiāli noslēdzas ļoti nozīmīgs posms manā dzīvē, kam esmu veltījis 9 gadus! Kaut kā gals ir arī arī kā jauna un aizraujoša sākums! pic.twitter.com/we2Mbo6YrT— Edvards Smiltēns (@EdvardsSmiltens) August 21, 2017
"Today, I'm officially bringing to a close a very important stage in my life, which has lasted 9 years! Yet this end is also as a new and exciting beginning!" wrote Smiltens, without specifying exactly what he was talking about.
However, while the letter confirms his departure from the party ranks, it does not say he is laying aside his Saeima mandate. In doing so he joins half a dozen other recent defectors from Vienotiba's ranks who are believed to be forming a new party. Whether Smiltens attempts to join them remains to be seen.
Either way Smiltens' disappearance creates another headache for Aseradens as Smiltens was deputy chairman of Vienotiba's parliamentary group and did a good deal of the day-to-day political fixing in the Saeima.
Smiltens' personal website still trumpets his pitch for election to Saeima with Vienotiba, much of it now having a decidedly ironic sound.
"The storm blows over the tree that stands alone, but not those that grow toegther," declares one headline.