Failed impeachment leads to calls for early vote at protest in Vilnius, LithuaniaMarch 16, 2018
VIDEO: Lithuanians march in St. Patrick’s Day parade in ClevelandMarch 19, 2018
VILNIUS – Lithuania’s lawmakers should stop “quarrelling” and start to work for the state and its people, President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday, reacting to recent public resentment towards the parliament sparked by a controversial parliamentary ballot earlier this week.
“Nearly all political groups in the parliament stopped to fulfill their duties and got involved into squabble. This is what people were saying and noticing. The parliament must hear this, pay attention and start working instead of quarrelling,” Grybauskaite was quoted as speaking to reporters by local media.
She was commenting on public protest back on Thursday at Independence Square in Vilnius near the parliament building, during which protesters urged the parliament to disband.
The protest followed the unsuccessful impeachment earlier this week of lawmaker Mindaugas Bastys, who was accused of allegedly cooperating with foreign intelligence and security officers, as well as criminal figures and thus grossly violating the constitution.
“It (the protest) shows the maturity of our civil society when people do care about how politicians work, and it must be a very serious signal, particularly to the parliament,” Grybauskaite said.
She refrained from calling the parliament to disband saying that this proposal is “unrealistic”.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis said on Friday he believed that protests cannot solve main political issues.
“I welcome the society’s wish to use one of the major advantages of democracy and to freely organize peaceful rallies to express its viewpoints, yet I still think that in the end the most important issues are solved by the government and parliament,” Skvernelis was quoted as saying by local website Delfi.lt.
On Thursday, four Lithuania’s opposition parties called for an early election, claiming that the current parliament is incapable to work further. According to the draft resolution prepared by the opposition parties, early election would take place on June 3.
The law stipulates that early elections may be held on the decision of the parliament adopted by a three-fifths majority vote or may be announced by the president of Lithuania based on corresponding paragraph of the constitution.