I wish to directly and honestly answer those, who care – today I sent an answer to TS-LKD chairman Gabrielius Landsbergis, where I confirmed my decision to participate in the party’s primaries and, if my candidacy were found acceptable there – in the Lithuanian presidential elections.
I never either dreamed of the office, or intended to seek it. Rather, the contrary. Nevertheless, today I am prepared to take up this great responsibility if the people’s will is such.
What changed the stance?
First and absolutely foremost, to my own surprise I experienced the hopes of so many people, I mean both the TS-LKD community and companions not related to the party. Hopes linked to my person of different politics – perhaps more respectful, fairer and more honest politics. To not respect such trust would be vanity. Thus, let the voters help answer the question of whether I really can fulfil this expectation. At this stage, those who will participate in the primaries and later perhaps others as well, if they believe that we can unite, strengthen and implement together a hope for different politics, different relations among in society.
Second, I am concerned by events and trends that are gradually taking root in Lithuania. It is worrying that they can entrench themselves for overly long. Prohibitions, cynical power plays, the dictatorship of the majority over minority that is growing in power – this repels free people, deters from interest and participation in creating our joint livelihood, that is to say – state politics. Perhaps someone is seeking just that, however I understand democracy differently, thus I would like to see very different processes in Lithuania and “internal emigration” – fleeing from hurtful things to our daily works – is not a comfortable state for me.
How do I perceive the role of President?
I won’t bandy around unfair promises: no president with any decree can change the parliamentary majority, nor the cabinet it forms, which implements its programme and policies. You cannot create a country and every family’s welfare on your own.
However, a president can and must be the guarantor of the Constitution. To my understanding, this means: principled defence of democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, property rights and independence of the judicial branch. Ensuring that the weak are defended and that none would feel forgotten again. To defend the precept tht democracy is not simply the dictate of the majority over the minority. I believe that different politics can contribute to returning to the values enshrined in the Constitution that are increasingly often tread on today.
I link my own hopes for different politics with the still firm faith that we can come to agreement in our country. Come to agreement on what country we want: what education, what science, what healthcare and social security. And right here come to terms, make an agreement and sign that we agree to suitably finance the image we agree on instead of chasing the chimera of ever lower taxation and ever greater commitments. This would be the new Contract for Lithuania, a new Lithuanian Agreement, which is only needed in a few areas if we have greater ambitions for the future. Agreement on national defence is only the first piece. It is also a confirmation that we can come to terms. But solely this is not enough. We must return faith that we can come to an agreement over the future of the country and all of us. Then we will be able to more harmoniously and consistently move forward, regardless of who is in power and who is in the opposition at the time.
And finally, state security is the greatest concern of the president and all of us. The Freedom of the country is the basis of our thriving. And there is no other politics needed here because there can be no compromises over Freedom. Lithuania’s geopolitical circumstance dictates answers by itself – we need a strong NATO, a strong and united EU and sufficient capacities of our own. There must be as much of the West as possible in Lithuania and the region. A safe and successful Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova and their successful advancement on the road of European integration is also needed for our future and ourselves.
The president is not omnipotent. They are no miracle maker. However, with its intellectual and creative powers, a strong nation can be almighty. This means that we can discover once more, how to employ these powers for the further development of Lithuania.