Lietuva in brief - 2007-02-14

  • 2007-02-14
Audrius Bruzga, Lithuania's former ambassador to Finland, has been nominated to head the Baltic country's embassy in the United States. The decision to offer Bruzga as a candidate to head the Lithuanian embassy in the US was made by the government during its Feb. 13 meeting. Bruzga has been working in the Foreign Relations ministry since 1991. He has worked at the Lithuanian embassies in Israel, Great Britain and Finland. Bruzga is currently working as an ambassador for special assignments at the Foreign Ministry's Department of America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Vilnius County Administrative Court on Feb. 12 rejected an appeal by Kestutis Dziautas, a former KGB employee, who has asked for 100,000 litas (29,000 euros) compensation from the state. Dziautas, who won a case against Lithuania in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg two years ago, complained that Lithuania had not amended the law that banned former KGB employees from working in some areas of the private sector. The Lustration Law, adopted by the Lithuanian parliament in 1999, banned former KGB employees from employment in the public sector and in some private companies. The European Court of Human Rights in 2004 ruled that the law violates the European Convention of Human Rights and ordered Lithuania to pay Dziautas 7,000 euros compensation. But the Lithuanian parliament has so far failed to change the Lustration Law.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas met with Irina Kozulina, wife of the imprisoned former Belarusian presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin, on Feb. 9. Kirkilas told BNS that Kozulina asked him to bring up the issue of her husband's destiny with leaders of other countries. Kirkilas in his turn invited Kozulina and representatives of her husband's Social Democrat Party to attend a convention of Lithuanian Social Democrats scheduled in May. The prime minister did not rule out the possibility that a declaration on Kozulin's imprisonment may be adopted at the convention. Kozulin has been accused of "organizing mass unrest" during the presidential campaign last March and in July was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. Aleksander Lukashenko was elected president in March elections, which were viewed as non-democratic by most international observers.

More than one third of Lithuanian voters do not plan to cast their votes in the municipal elections scheduled for Feb. 25, a poll conducted by the Vilmorus company from Feb.1 - 4 has shown. As many as 35.7 percent of respondents said they would not vote in the elections or do not favor any party. The corresponding figure one month ago was 34.3 percent. The poll also showed that the ruling Social Democratic Party and opposition Conservative Party would get the majority of votes, with respondents pledging 11.8 percent and 11.1 percent of their votes respectively. The Liberal Democrat Party, chaired by impeached president Rolandas Paksas and the Labour Party would each get 7.7 percent of the vote, according to the poll. Of the other respondents, 5.6 percent said they would vote for New Union (Social Liberals), 5.2 percent would support Liberal Union and 5 percent would cast their votes for the National Farmer's Union.