Lithuanian parliament marks 95th anniversary of Constituent Seimas

Seimo rūmai
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Convening in Kaunas on 15 May 1920, the members of the Constituent Seimas unanimously approved the Act of Independence of Lithuania: “The Constituent Seimas, expressing the will of the People of Lithuania, hereby proclaims that the independent state of Lithuania is re-established as a democratic republic within its ethnographic borders and free from any official obligations that had ever been undertaken in respect to other states.”

According to Graužinienė, this declaration has been guiding the nation up to the present day. Back then, it firmly established a democratic republic as a form of national government in Lithuania.

Congratulating everybody on the anniversary, the speaker of the Seimas quoted the words of author Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė, who chaired the inaugural sitting of the Constituent Seimas.

“Let us, the representatives, when doing our demanding work, do it without ever losing sight of the fact that we are here only to exercise the will of the people of our country. Let’s do the work the way it is required by those who have sent us here.”

The elections to the Constituent Seimas took place on 14-15 April 1920 in accordance with the Low on Election adopted in 1919. They were the first universal and equal direct elections by secret ballot ever held in Lithuania. The turnout was 90 percent of the eligible voters. A total of 112 members, with 6 signatories to the Act of Independence among them, were elected to the Constituent Seimas.

The first sitting of the Constituent Seimas took place in Kaunas on 15 May 1920. The same evening Aleksandras Stulginskas was voted in as its Speaker. Mindful of the need to show to the world that Lithuania was firm on its path towards creating the state, the Constituent Seimas, on the first day of its work, repeatedly declared the independence of Lithuania by unanimously adopting the Act of Independence.

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