Right-wing opposition forms coalition, ponders homemade 'orange revolution'

  • 2004-12-22
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - Leaders of the opposition Homeland Union (Conser-vatives) and Liberal Centrist factions signed an agreement this week on cooperating within the parliamentary opposition, the first such coalition in the history of the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament).
"This agreement will dispel the myth in recent years that center-right forces cannot agree on joint work," Liberal Centrist faction leader Algis Caplikas told a press conference on Dec. 21 after the agreement was signed.

"Together we will oppose wrong decisions of the authorities, and in our opinion there will be plenty of them," Homeland Union's Andrius Kubilius said.

The opposition coalition, which embraces almost one-third of all MPs - or 45 - will coordinate decisions at a coalition council. The council will be comprised of three representatives from each faction, an opposition leader and a deputy parliamentary chairman of the opposition.

Under the agreement, the deputy parliamentary chairman will be delegated by the Liberal Centrists and the opposition leader by the Conservatives until Jan. 1, 2007. The factions will exchange the posts at a later date.

The Liberal Centrists were scheduled to pick their candidate for the post of deputy parliamentary chairman during a faction meeting on Dec. 21. The Conservatives said they intended to propose Kubilius for the post of opposition leader.

Under the agreement, both the opposition leader and the deputy parliamentary chairman will be able to speak on behalf of the coalition only on jointly coordinated issues.

In a separate story, left-of-center politicians have impugned Kubilius' statement about the possibility of an "orange revolution" in Lithuania, quipping that it was likely brought on by a kiss from Ukrainian singer Ruslana.

"The orange revolution in the Homeland Union leader's mind has obviously been stirred by a kiss of the winner of Eurovision - Ruslana of Ukraine," reads a statement issued by the New Union (Social Liberals) faction on Dec. 20.

During a Homeland Union council meeting in Kaunas last weekend, Kubilius stated that an "orange revolution," similar to the one in Ukraine, was fomenting in Lithuania against the ruling nomenclature.

"I don't think that one will have to go to the streets, but one could forecast that a revolution similar to that in Ukraine, which is willing to get rid of the old nomenclature, is brewing in our minds," Kubilius said.

"One can feel a smell of Soviet nomenclature coming from the current authorities," he said, speaking about the ruling coalition formed by the Labor Party, the Social Democrats, the Social Liberals and the Union of Farmers and New Democracy parties.

In the Social Liberals' opinion, there is no reason for statements about revolutions in Lithuania, as "pensions are increasing, agriculture workers' incomes are on the rise, the gross domestic product is growing."

During her recent visit, Ruslana met with representatives of the opposition Homeland Union and thanked for their support for Ukrainian presidential candidate, opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.