Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled that MP Remigijus Žemaitaitis broke his oath of office with his antisemitic statements

Lithuanian MP Remigijus Žemaitaitis broke his oath of office and grossly violated the Constitution with his statements about Jewish people, the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday.

“Remigijus Žemaitaitis’ actions […] run counter to the constitution. With these actions, Remigijus Žemaitaitis broke his oath of office and grossly violated the constitution,” Constitutional Court President Gintaras Goda said.

Following this ruling, lawmakers will now have to vote on stripping Žemaitaitis of his mandate, if he does not voluntarily step down. To do that, at least 85 lawmakers need to vote in favour.

On November 21, the Lithuanian parliament decided to impeach Žemaitaitis, a member of the non-attached group in the Seimas, for his anti-Semitic remarks, and referred his case to the Constitutional Court, asking it to rule on the constitutionality of his statements.

The conclusion of a special commission, approved by the Seimas, states that Žemaitaitis disregarded the requirements stemming from his oath that incitement to national, racial, religious or social hatred, violence and discrimination, slander and disinformation are incompatible with the freedom of expression.

In his Facebook posts last June, Žemaitaitis suggested that “the Jews and Russians” oppressed ethnic Lithuanians during World War Two and were responsible for the 1944 massacre of the village of Pirčiupiai. In fact, the atrocity was committed by German SS troops.

In May, Žemaitaitis posted a news story about a Palestinian school demolished by Israel in the West Bank. He added that Israel’s actions “increase the anger and, at the same time, the hatred towards Jews and their nation” and quoted an anti-Semitic rhyme.

Žemaitaitis was elected to the parliament as a member of the Freedom and Justice party, but his membership was suspended last May over his Facebook posts. He registered a new party in January and is currently running for president.


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