- November 15, 2012
Samsel: It’s not over yet
A new ruling coalition with the EAPL has formed. The negotiations were long. It seems that the EAPL has negotiated a position that is adequate to the number of seats they won. Most of the EAPL’s proposals seem to be acceptable by the coalition. However, whether there is a real chance for those proposals to be implemented, it’s quite another matter.
The most realistic option is the restitution of the land looted by the Soviet Union. It’s one of the major issues, especially important for the Polish minority. If this change were implemented, the omission of the problem of the spelling of Polish names will be less painful.
Another demand is increase in the funding of local roads by 30%, which seems to be possible to accept and important. Other demands are worse. Changing into biofuels in the whole country is not a matter for one term of the Parliament, not to mention the fact that the expenditures will be huge. I doubt whether Lithuania will cope with this task within several years. Anyway, I have a doubt about the whole idea.
Also, raising the minimum wage to 1200 litas may exceed financial ability of the country – even though it’s undoubtedly necessary. This group of demands is acceptable for the left-wing coalition.
The EAPL’s ideas related to the sphere of worldview are more difficult. It’s hard to imagine Butkevičius or Uspaskis supporting the EAPL’s idea to ban abortion or in vitro fertilization. Yes, when they entered into a coalition with the EAPL, it means that they need the EAPL’s votes. But perhaps they don’t need them so much as to lose the support of the electorate.
However, all the agreements may be worthless. Anyway, there is president Grybauskaite. Her situation is not enviable, but she created it at her own request. One can try to understand her motivation. In fact, it’s not good for the state when the coalition consists of the party against which some lawsuits are pending, and “famous” for the process of buying votes in the last elections (however, as the Constitutional Court decided, it’s not such a problem as to change the results of elections in the state-level scale). This is good neither for the state nor for the democracy. However, is it good for them when the president challenges the results of elections? After all, the voters themselves supported this party. And this support was so big that it’s the second political force in the state and forms the coalition. Isn’t their opinion more important that the President’s opinion?
In my opinion, after all, they’re more important. Grybauskaite turned out to be a lousy politician. Now, no matter what is she going to do now, it will be bad for her and for the state. If she insists not to approve the coalition with the Labour Party, a political crisis is guaranteed, so are the re-elections. And that will not strengthen the country. Especially as there is no guarantee that the results of the re-election will be significantly different. And then, what? Will we start the fun again? It seems to be more likely that the voter turnout will be low. It wasn’t too high during last elections, after all.
It’s doubtful that Butkevičius will step down. At the beginning, such a demonstration of disloyalty and submission towards the newly created coalition wouldn’t be good for him. If the president gives up her position, she will lose prestige. This would be a smaller loss for the state than the first possibility, but still significant. Ultimately, the president of the state should have the prestige and that’s why she shouldn’t be engaged in such a situation. Probably, now there will be a frantic search for another option, for example entrusting the task of creating the new government to somebody who will fulfil it in such a way to form a coalition with Social Democrats but without the Labour Party. However, it’s almost unreal. In any case, this scuffle will last, mostly due to Dalia Grybauskaite policy.
Let’s end with a paradox. In fact, any variant proposed by the President strengthens the position of the EAPL. Even the current coalition with the EAPL is the answer given to her by Butkevičius and Uspaskis: “Be careful. We are strong”.
The EAPL was needed to issue such a warning. In other forms of coalition, it will be even more necessary. Even the re-elections may be beneficial for the party – it may get even more votes from its constant and disciplined electorate in case of the low turnout. Dalia Grybauskaite being an informal and unconscious ally of the EAPL – that’s the paradox.
Unfortunately, even though the situation is like watching a great football match for the enthusiasts of the politics, it’s not really that good for the citizens. After all, they should be the most important in this “match”.
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.