- August 22, 2019
Žemaitaitis: Polish problems should be solved
Appeals by Vytautas Landsbergis to take power away from Poles in the Vilnius region – “this is chauvinism” emphasizes Remigijus Žemaitaitis, vice president of the Lithuanian parliament and leader of the Order and Justice party, who was yesterday a guest of” Day for Two Voices “of Radio” Znad Wilii “.
On Tuesday (August 20th), the Lithuanian parliament 75 votes in favor, 27 against and 9 abstentions in a protocol decision again authorized the government of Saulius Skvernelois. The procedure for granting proxies raises doubts among the opposition and some lawyers about compliance with the Constitution. “Indeed, the Tuesday decision of the Sejm to approve the government by a protocol resolution raises some confusion. As a lawyer, I see a collision of two legal norms here. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court never explained this case in its case law, it did not explain how to behave in such a situation – whether a protocol resolution is enough, or whether the government’s program is to be approved again. We have not had such cases in our history yet. If the opposition seems to think that this mode is contradictory, then only the Constitutional Court can dispel these doubts. The opposition is going to go to this court. If the Constitutional Court finds that the procedure is inconsistent with the Constitution, then at most we will have to change the statute of the Sejm which adopts it. At the moment, the government is approved, the government has obtained powers of attorney and I can only wish him luck, “commented Remigijus Žemaitaitis.
The issue of the Ministry for Order and Justice is still open
The Leader of Order and Justice also underestimates the lack of a minister from this group in the new government of Saulius Skvernelis, despite the fact that Order and Justice, in accordance with the coalition agreement, was to be given to the country’s defense department. The handing over of this ministry to the party which is being prosecuted for corruption has been opposed by President Gitanas Nausėda.
“The most important thing is that in the annex to the government’s program, which contains ideas that the government is to implement, there are several of our proposals. However, the issue of the Ministry for Order and Justice is still open. We have already talked about this with the coalition partners, Ramūnas Karbauski, and probably in the near future such a ministry will be awarded Order and Justice, “said Žemaitaitis. He recalled that he was offered to become a minister of justice, but he refused, as it would be seen as a conflict of interest due to the aforementioned court process. The Ministry of Economy and Innovation can get order and justice when the current minister, Virginijus Sinkevičius, becomes a member of the European Commission.
There are not many Polish problems
The deputy chairman of the Sejm of the Republic of Lithuania also referred to the suggestion of MEP, former Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, that Waldemar Tomaszewski has already abandoned the fight for Polish demands and the new government will not do anything in this field.
“There are not many Polish problems in Lithuania, sometimes we raise them because of emotions, we make them political problems. But of course, these problems should be solved. Even during the government of Algirdas Butkevičius, I submitted projects with Gediminas Kirkilas, Irena Šiaulienė, which solved the issue of the original spelling of non-Lithuanian names. For me as a lawyer, it is absurd that in Lithuania it is the court that must indicate to the state institution that it should write the name of the citizen according to the original spelling. By the way, my surname – Žemaitaitis – is also spelled incorrectly because it is a surname of German origin and should be spelled with umlaut, “said Žemaitaitis. The Leader of Order and Justice explained that issues related to national minorities were (among others by him) raised during the negotiations of the new coalition agreement before the election campaign of Poles in Lithuania – the Union of Christian Families joined the negotiations. Not only because of traditional minorities, but also because of the growing wave of economic emigration from Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia. “Issues related to migration and the protection of national minorities’ rights should be raised high. I think that Rita Tamašunienė, who became the Interior Minister, who is an experienced local government officer and knows these problems, will pay due attention to the challenges in this area, “said Žemaitaitis.
Also, Žemaitaitis does not think that the coalition may have problems because of Irina Rozowa, an MP from the AWPL-ZChR faction, who, when applying for permission to work with secret documents, concealed information about her meetings with Russian diplomats, and perhaps agents of Russian intelligence. “I am glad that AWPL-ZChR joined the coalition, and more precisely – it formalized its support for the government. (…) I do not think that the case of Irina Rozowa may have any impact on the activity of the coalition, because the coalition agreement was signed by the party presidents, and Irina Rozowa is not even a member of AWPL-ZChR but an Alliance of Russians, “explained Žemaitaitis.
Sovereign Lithuania without chauvinism
On ‘Day for Two Voices’, Remigijus Zemaitaitis confirmed that he was still considering the idea of re-branding Order and Justice, which was to consist not only in changing the name of the party to Sovereign Lithuania, but also attracting new faces to the party.
“My basic idea is sovereign Lithuania. I am a categorical opponent of the federal idea of Europe put forward by Emanuel Macron and Angela Merkel. (…) My goal is a Europe of nations in which each country has its own sovereignty and identity, and let the European Union not teach us how to live, “said Žemaitaitis. At the same time, he emphasized that the new political grouping would certainly not be radical or nationalist. “Nationalism, chauvinism – this is the worst thing that can happen to us. Unfortunately, in the last two or three years I have noticed that the number of chauvinistic ideas in Lithuania has been increasing, “said Žemaitaitis.
As an example of such nationalist thinking, Žemaitaitis incl. he pointed out the calls of Vytautas Landsbergis from 2007 to take power from Poles in the Vilnius region. “This is chauvinism against your fellow citizens. Remigijus Žemaitaitis and our movement, which I hope will arise, will never accept such ideas, “said the leader of Order and Justice.
Translated by Patrycja Polanowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.