Lithuanian MP Zemaitaitis submits his resignation as MP

  • 2024-04-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Controversial Lithuanian MP Remigijus Zemaitaitis handed in his resignation to the country's Central Electoral Commission on Monday.

"At 9.37 a.m. on Monday, April 29, the CEC received an e-mail with Remigijus Zemaitaitis' resignation as a member of the Seimas," the CEC said.

The election watchdog plans to consider the resignation during its next meeting on Thursday.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that Zemaitaitis had broken his oath of office and seriously violated the Constitution with his statements about the Jewish people. Following the CC's ruling, the Seimas was to vote on stripping Zemataits of his mandate.

A person removed from the Seimas through impeachment for a serious violation of the Constitution or for breaking their oath of office is banned from standing for election to any office involving an oath for then years.

However, Zemaitaitis will avoid this ban after he submitted his resignation.

The Constitutional Court found that Zemaitaitis' statements "contain, among other things, derogatory descriptions that denigrate the dignity of (...) persons singled out based on their ethnicity (and) quote a counting-out rhyme (...) depicting violence against Jewish individuals, ridiculing them".

"Such derogatory descriptions and quotes, and statements encouraging mutual intolerance between different ethnic communities, as well as a statement belittling the tragedy of the Holocaust, demonstrate hatred towards a group of people singled out based on their ethnicity," he said. 

According to the Constitution Court, the fact that similar content was disseminated systematically indicates that this information was spread deliberately.

The court ruled that with his remarks, Zemaitaitis "disregarded the imperative of fostering national concord, as enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution", and, as a MP, failed to adhere to his oath and fulfill his duty to uphold the Constitution and laws.

The Prosecutor General's Office, for its part, has finished its pre-trial investigation into Zemaitaitis' statements and found that the politician incited to hatred against and ridiculed Jewish people and publicly approved the crimes of Nazi Germany.

Zemaitaitis is running for president in next month's election.