Anti-constitutional bird-and-fish-watching

  • 2010-11-03
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - On Oct. 27, the Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled that two opposition Christian Party MPs, Linas Karalius and Aleksandr Sacharuk, committed fraud, which was in gross violation of the Constitution. Karalius left the Constitutional Court without a comment by pedaling his bicycle away from journalists, while Sacharuk did not show up at court on Oct. 27. After such a decision by the Constitutional Court, it remains up to the parliament whether to impeach both MPs or not.

In January, Karalius took his top model girlfriend and left Lithuania for vacations in Thailand and other countries 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 Sacharuk voted eight times, not only for himself, but also in the name of Karalius using Karalius’ electronic card for voting, which is illegal.

The absence of Karalius would probably have remained unnoticed if he, according to media reports, would not have written about his trip’s impressions on Facebook. Karalius’ photos with transvestites were published on Facebook, as well as Karalius’ complimentary impressions about the show during which birds and fish are coming out of the genitalia of a Thai woman. 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 this devoted vegetarian and follower of the latest fashion trends is promoting a healthy lifestyle to children, giving lectures in schools urging them to abstain from alcohol.
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“Whatever the process’ end will be, I’ll always love Lithuania and I will serve Lithuania,” Karalius said in court during the hearings, but such patriotic statements did not soften the hearts of judges.
The final vote for impeachment to succeed requires three-fifths of all MPs, i.e. 85 votes in the 141-seat Lithuanian parliament. Kestutis Masiulis, MP of the ruling Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, said in the Constitutional Court after the announcement of the ruling that he is skeptical about the success of impeachment in the parliament.

“I’m a pessimist, looking at how in the past the parliament refused to lift the immunity of Sacharuk as well as of Uoka and Grazulis,” Masiulis said. Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office asked the parliament to lift the immunity of Sacharuk because voting for Karalius can be considered a crime. In case of impeachment, Sacharuk can be prosecuted and even go to jail. Kazimieras Uoka, MP of the ruling Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, and Petras Grazulis, MP of the opposition Order and Justice Party, were involved in some clashes with police when they protested against the gay and lesbian parade in Vilnius on May 8. The police wanted to punish Uoka and Grazulis via court hearings but the parliament refused to lift the immunity of both MPs.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said that Karalius and Sacharuk should be impeached. Lithuanian Parliament Speaker Irena Degutiene urged Karalius and Sacharuk to resign, which would allow the parliament to avoid the time-consuming procedure of impeachment. “The parliament has a lot of other things to do,” Degutiene said during her briefing on Oct. 28.

The opposition Social Democrat Party is strongly supporting the impeachment of Karalius and Sacharuk, as is the ruling Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats of Kubilius and Degutiene. However, the impeachment has no support among the opposition Order and Justice Party. The Christian Party of Sacharuk and Karalius states that impeachment against both MPs would be a political farce because voting for other MPs was quite a common phenomena in the Lithuanian parliament before and nobody has been punished for it yet.

Sacharuk and Karalius 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 factions. Those who left Valinskas’ party created the Christian Party. If Sacharuk and Karalius are impeached, their seats would be occupied by Andrius Burba, adviser to the culture minister, and Mecislovas Subelis, a fur clothing shop owner, who both were on the election list of the National Resurrection Party. Burba declared his loyalty to the Valinskas-led National Resurrection Party, not to the Christian Party, while Subelis left Valinskas’ party and is not sure yet if he would join the ruling coalition or opposition in the parliament. Now the ruling center-right coalition has 68 MPs in the 141-seat parliament, i.e. less than half of the seats, and therefore the position of would-be MPs is extremely important for the very survival of the ruling coalition.