A statement from Labor Party leader Viktor Uspaskich on an alleged agreement to reestablish the Ministry of Informatics surprised President Valdas Adamkus. "The head of state is strictly against the development of the state bureaucratic apparatus. The president was of the same opinion after recent parliamentary elections, when the ruling coalition was forming the government. The president then disapproved of the Labor Party's proposal to establish a post of vice-minister and a new ministry," reads a press release issued on Nov. 4. The Ministry of Informatics was liquidated seven years ago.
Lithuanian Liberal Youth, which supports the marriage of homosexual couples, is inviting young people to seek tolerance and prevent homophobic manifestations in public. The intolerance of homosexual people and the fear of them is a form of discrimination, the organization said, and discrimination cannot be justified in a free and democratic society. "There are no national or state values, a person is a measure of all values and nobody but a specific person can decide what is important and valuable for his or herself. Therefore, we urge people to respect the values and choice of homosexuals and their will to legalize their relationships. We are sorry that individual youth groups are propagating intolerance in regard to sexual minorities," chairwoman Rasa Maselskyte said. Since 2000, the organization's program has included a provision that marriages of homosexual couples must be legalized.
Conservative MP Vilija Aleknaite-Abamikiene was outraged by plans to hold an international conference of lesbians and gays in Vilnius. Intentions to organize such a conference in 2007 are a "big mistake," she said. "Recognizing and respecting the rights of minorities, we must see and assess a wider social context. For Lithuania, the majority of citizens of which consider themselves Catholics, such intentions may look like a provocative and unfriendly move," a press release cites Aleknaite-Abamikiene as saying.
The Labor Party remains the country's most popular political force, a RAIT market analysis and research group reported from its Oct. 12-16 poll. According to the survey, 28 percent of respondents would vote for the Labor Party, which is 6 percent more than a month ago. The opposition Homeland Union (Conservatives) still ranks second on the popularity scale. If parliamentary elections were held at this moment, the party would be supported by 9.4 percent of those polled, as compared with 12.1 percent in September.