New movements: radical powers look radically at their colleagues

Arvydas Juozaitis
Arvydas Juozaitis, DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Arvydas Juozaitis is planning to establish his own party-gathering Lietuva yra čia [Lithuania is Here]. A new political movement is also gathering around Vytautas Sinica. Rimantas Jonas Dagys, who recently separated from V. Sinica is also planning to establish a political party based on Christian values, with its preliminary name being Santarvė ir Gerovė [Harmony and Welfare], Viktorija Rimaitė wrote in

Vytautas Radžvilas, who ran for European Parliament with the civic electoral committee “Vytautas Radžvilas: susigrąžinkime valstybę!” [Vytautas Radžvilas: let’s regain the country!] also retains political aims.

According to political scientists, these political figures are united in their right-wing, often radical right-wing political thinking, however, very simple things prevent them from uniting.

Attempted and failed merger

At the end of summer, V. Sinica together with R. J. Dagys declared the gathering of a new political movement. However, with the autumn proceeding, their paths diverged – R. J. Dagys informed the public about the creation of his own party.

Both R. J. Dagys and Sąjūdis figure A. Juozaitis, who participated in the presidential elections, are both often associated in the Lithuanian political arena with another Sąjūdis figure – V. Radžvilas. Nevertheless, these political figures were unable to cooperate and unite their forces.

Neither V. Sinica, nor R. J. Dagys, nor A. Juozaitis denied that there were attempts to unite, they told the portal.

According to A. Juozaitis, “With V. Radžvilas – there‘s old history. We tried all we could, but these are players of a different league, these are public figures and they will never move anywhere, they closed off and practically late to everything”.

According to R. J. Dagys, “A. Juozaitis and V. Radžvilas demonstrate anti-establishment views and it’s not the path we wish to take”. He emphasised that the path of destruction is not acceptable to him as a politician.

Disagreement on party openness?

V. Sinica’s political figure is associated in the public sphere not only with R. J. Dagys, but also with V. Radžvilas. Commenting on the troubles for right-wing political powers trying to unite, V. Sinica emphasised that the advantages of politicians associated with radical right-wing powers and their commonalities are only superficial – more things separate them than tie them together.

“In spring, there was talk about how supposedly philosophers V. Radžvilas and A. Juozaitis do not see eye to eye. However, that there is perhaps only anti-globalist rhetoric that ties them together, was displayed by A. Juozaitis’ actions that followed right after: associating from the very start with the opportunist Naglis Puteikis and finally – with “Order and Justice”.

“Order and Justice” is a party led by former Soviet nomenclature figures, which supports pragmatic relations with Russia and appeals to Soviet-era nostalgia.

Many are surprised – how can A. Juozaitis associate himself with them? However, those familiar with history know of A. Juozaitis’ sympathies to the Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party (LDDP), Algirdas Brazauskas, the National Future Forum and his statements against defence financing. The clearly pro-American and pro-NATO V. Radžvilas, while justifiably demanding European Union reform, has nothing in common with this bunch,” V. Sinica explained.

Meanwhile, according to him, R. J. Dagys and V. Radžvilas are separated not by intrigues or ambitions, but simple disagreement on party openness.

“R. Dagys is convinced that the creation of a party cannot be formally controlled, it is undemocratic and instead it should be wholly open. This is apparently how all parties have operated thus far.

V. Radžvilas and I as well believe that it is namely why they lose their primary identity and are often overtaken. Creating yet another party like that, whatever its rhetoric, did not seem meaningful,” V. Sinica explained.

Radical powers with radical views on colleagues

A political scientist at Vytautas Magnus University (VDU), professor Lauras Bielinis explained that the disagreements we see in Lithuania between the aforementioned right-wing figures are a natural matter.

“All radicals are notable for their rather radical perception of their colleagues and due to this reason, these radical political powers and their representatives struggle to get along. Radicality inherently brings forth conflicting relationships,” L. Bielinis told the portal.

This position was echoed by Lithuanian War Academy (LKA) political scientist Vytautas Isoda. According to him, the answer as to why it isn’t centred right, but more radical right-wing political powers that do not merge is simple – “it is ambition and personalities. It is very likely that due to their personality traits, these political figures want to have their own “garden” which they could tend as they will”.

Also uncertain if Lithuanians need radicals

“The question is – how attentive is the public to the radical right? Perhaps they do not reflect what the people need and likely what they need is stability and clarity in specific everyday matters,” L. Bielinis commented on Lithuanian electoral preferences, which might not favour the radical right-wing.

Not just a mismatch in the electorate, but also the position of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) is, according to V. Isoda, significant when thinking about the chances of radical right-wing political powers.

“There aren’t all that many right-wing voters in Lithuania, typically around a third. As such, there is likely not all that much demand on the political right-wing and this demand is more or less fulfilled by the Conservatives.

Centre-right powers often do not want to accept radical right-wing figures, which forces them to act independently with their independent creations. But it is an open question – how much of the electorate can they attract even if they did join together?” V. Isoda questioned.
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