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Tag Archives: Lithuanian elections

The Lithuanian constitution provides that the president receive the decision of the parliament in regard to who is to be in the posts of the various ministers. It does not stipulate that the appointments are to be made with the consent of the president (and cannot be made without his/her consent).

The president of Lithuania has stated that the party having received the most votes, the Labor Party (Darbo partija) is not gong to have any part in the “coalition,” which is really a divvying-up of the ministerial posts. You can read about it here.

It is wholly unclear whether the president can act in this way. The idea is that the president has to confirm the will of the parliament in this matter.

Which is just another example showing why the present constitution is so poorly written. If the idea is that the president has no discretion, then what use is it to require the president to confirm the decision of the  parliament? If the president has discretion, why is it not written in that way? (E.g., “ministers are appointed only with the consent of the president, which may be withheld for any reason at the discretion of the president.”) The president would then be the one with whom the parties would be debating to form a coalition.

But if so, why? The majority should rule. If a president were a right winger, and if the parliament were divided into three parties – center, right, and left, the president could always block the left. (Substitute left for right as you please.) Why? The voters have spoken, and the center has gone with, say, the left. Well, such a decision sounds like democracy to me.

The reason I am not for presidential discretion in this scenario is this: All in all, the more complications one adds, the less the tie between a citizen’s vote and the result. It is entirely unpredictable and as tenuous as a pipe dream or smoke therefrom.

It is true that the ostensible reason that the president has stated has to do with voter fraud – the Labor party has been accused of massive voter fraud. Ok. But this is a separate question. Certainly it is one which should be resolved ASAP. But then the emphasis must be upon the resolution of this matter with the greatest of speed. That is what the president should insist upon. As it is, the impression is that of lawlessness – on the part of, well, everyone.