Lithuanian parliament speaker makes clear National Minority Bill will not be passed in autumn session

Loreta Graužinienė
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

“All ethnic minorities must agree on the National Minority Law, and we do not have such a law now. The National Minority Law is not an issue of the Polish national minority only, it is a law that has to do with everyone – Karaites, Russians, Ukrainians and people of other nationalities, and we have to find consensus. The bill is not a priority,” Graužinienė told journalists after Thursday’s meeting of chairmen of parliamentary committees.

During the spring session, the parliament gave its initial backing to the bill initiated by Jaroslav Narkevič, an MP of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania. The plan was to adopt the law during the fall session, which is scheduled to open on 10 September.

The Narkevič-proposed bill would reinstate the earlier version of the National Minority Law, which allowed the use of the language of national minorities in state agencies and organizations in areas with dense populations of national minorities, along with bilingual signs. However, in the discussion of the draft in July, the parliament excluded the provision on bilingual signs.

In the end of August, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania left the ruling coalition after Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius sacked the party’s Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovič who had appointed Renata Cytacka as his deputy against the PM’s instructions but by decree of LLRA leader Valdemar Tomaševski.

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