MP's unlucky trip to Thailand

  • 2010-03-10
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - Two MPs may lose their jobs. On March 8, persecution of Christians started in the Lithuanian parliament: MPs started collecting signatures on two petitions which would start the process of impeachment of Linas Karalius and Aleksandr Sacharuk. Both of them are MPs of the Christian Party’s parliamentary faction. The majority of MPs are angry that, during the parliamentary session, Karalius took his top model girlfriend and left Lithuania for vacations in Southeast Asia. He did not bother to inform the parliament about his trip. Karalius was absent at the parliament’s session for the entire month of January, while in January, Sacharuk, who is the head of the Christian Party’s parliamentary faction, voted 13 times, not only for himself, but also in the name of Karalius using Karalius’ electronic card for voting.

In Italy, such MPs who vote for other MPs are called “piano players.” Recently, the Lithuanian parliament’s Commission for Ethics and Procedures proposed to punish an MP for each such illegal vote by a reduction of 25 percent of the MP’s monthly salary, while a one-day absence during the parliamentary session should be punished by a 20 percent reduction of the MP’s monthly salary. The proposal on such sanctions is still in the early stages of discussion.

According to media reports, Karalius wrote about his trip’s impressions on Facebook. Although Thailand can offer a lot of traditional sex pleasures, Karalius was more interested in less traditional activities, according to Facebook, where Karalius’ photos with transvestites were published, as well as Karalius’ impressions about the show during which birds and fish are going out from the most private part of a Thai woman. Now links to certain sections of his blog are disabled. Karalius denies writing his blog and suggests that it could be have been done by some political enemies.

“There was no Internet in those places where I have been,” Karalius said during the sitting of the parliamentary Commission for Ethics and Procedures on March 2. The sitting was open for journalists.
“Why do you refuse to show us your diplomatic passport?” asked Algimantas Salamakinas, Social Democrat MP and chairman of the parliamentary Commission for Ethics and Procedures. Stamps of border crossings in the passport could be valuable information about the trip for the Commission. Karalius preferred to speak about his journey without showing documents.
“Do you want me to give you my keys for carrying out a search in my flat and my car? Where are we heading?” Karalius answered rather vaguely with rhetoric questions.
“I have been in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore and when I was going back, I had landings in Moscow and Warsaw,” Karalius said.

Karalius is a former rap singer and former heavy drinker, who later fell into fascination with Hinduism and Buddhism, making many spiritually motivated trips to India and now promoting a healthy life style to children, giving lectures in schools, while Sacharuk was a policeman who later became a lawyer. In 2008, both of them were elected to the parliament from the election list of the National Resurrection Party, led by Arunas Valinskas, former host of TV humor and song shows. The National Resurrection Party was one of four parties that created the currently ruling center-right coalition. In July of last year, the party split into two groups. Sacharuk and Karalius are in the group which does not belong to the ruling coalition.

Until recently, their parliamentary faction, now having 12 MPs and balancing between the ruling coalition and opposition, was called the United Lithuania faction. At the end of January, the faction and the tiny Christian Conservative Social Union, until then having no MPs, established the Christian Party which is lead by Gediminas Vagnorius, former political heavyweight - he was Conservative prime minister for many years, though recently was rather jobless. Vagnorius promised with his newly created party to make Lithuania “just another Scandinavian country after 10 years.” The Catholic Church and other Christian churches expressed their dissatisfaction with the usage of the word “Christian” in his party’s name.