- September 30, 2012
The majority of the parties in favour of the original spelling of names
According to the survey published by a daily newspaper “Lietuvos žinios”, the vast majority of Lithuanian political parties taking part in this year’s parliamentary elections is for the original spelling of non-Lithuanian names and surnames in official documents. Actually, some of them agree only to write the name in proper spelling on further pages of the passport (in the section of “Other Entries”).
The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, the Liberal Movement (Lietuvos Respublikos liberalų sąjūdis), the Association YES (Sąjunga TAIP), the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Party (Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga), The Way of Courage (Drąsos kelias), the Union of Liberal and Centre (Liberalų ir centro sąjunga), and the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (Tėvynės sąjunga – Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai) unequivocally and unconditionally advocate the idea of issuing documents with original spelling of non-Lithuanian names, even in the letters of the Latin alphabet that don’t occur in the Lithuanian alphabet.
According to the Liberal Movement, “spelling of one’s name is a personal matter of the holder and their family”; the Association YES points out that the current ban on the original spelling violates basic human rights and even “in the interwar period it was possible to write non-Lithuanian names in their original form”, while the conservatives emphasize that they presented a project authorizing the original spelling to the current term of the Parliament, but it lacked votes to be adopted.
The Labour Party (Darbo partija) has no specific opinion on the matter, but it’s likely to agree with the original spelling, even though they don’t consider this issue to be important. The Social Democratic Party (Lietuvos socialdemokratų partija) and “Order and Justice” (Tvarka ir teisingumas) support the idea of the original spelling, but not on the first page of the passport (for example, it may be printed in the “Other Entries” section).
The Christian Party (Krikščionių partija) is explicitly against the original spelling, which is ready to consider the possibility of writing non-Lithuanian names in their original form if… Poland allows the Polish Lithuanians to do so. The Coalition “For Lithuania in Lithuania” (Už Lietuvą Lietuvoje) is also against and finds the allowance to write foreign names in their original form to be contrary to the Constitution and the case law of the Constitutional Court. The Nationalists, however, are willing to allow the non-Lithuanian record of name in the “Other Entries” section of the passport and are proud that they managed to persuade MPs to reject the project prepared by the government of Andrius Kubilius.
PL DELFI reminds that Poland authorized the original spelling of the names of people belonging to national minorities in 2005. However, in Lithuania, this issue is one of the outstanding problems in the Polish-Lithuanian relations.
Tłumaczenie Ewelina Zarembska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Ewelina Zarembska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.