Lithuanian parliament to return to name-spelling issue in May

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“I can say that the party’s board decided two days ago to again submit the bill to the Seimas, and the submission should take place in May. Let’s see, which politicians are in support and which are against,” Butkevičius told Znad Wilii Polish-language radio on Wednesday morning.

Two alternative bills have been submitted to the parliament so far on regulation of spelling of first and last names in documents.


Initiated by the Social Democrats, the bill suggests allowing the original spelling in letters of the Latin alphabet on the main page of the passport, while the alternative only allows it on an additional page.

Polish politicians in Lithuania and their supporters in Warsaw have repeatedly urged Lithuania to allow Polish characters, for instance, w, in the spelling of Polish last names in documents. Supporters of the amendments maintain they would be important for Lithuanian females married to foreigners.


Meanwhile, critics say the spelling scheme would undermine the Constitutional status of the Lithuanian language and could lead to problems in reading the non-Lithuanian names.

In 2010, the parliament voted down the bill proposed by then prime minister Andrius Kubilius of the conservatives, which suggested allowing original spelling of names in letters of the Latin alphabet.


At a meeting with Poland’s then PM Donald Tusk in April 2014, Butkevičius pledged that the law would be adopted in May of 2014 at the latest.

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