Lithuanian MP Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius has criticised the president’s position following violent riots outside the parliament on August 10, saying it amounted to “Trumpism”.
“Currently in Lithuania, we are getting to know the phenomenon of political Trumpism, when the actions of the state leader are more influenced by considerations of winning the second term in office instead of fulfilling his responsibilities,” Raskevičius told LRT RADIO on Wednesday.
Raskevičius, who is also the head of the parliamentary committee on human rights, was referring to the president’s position following the rally last week against vaccination and Covid-19 restrictions that turned violent.
During the clashes, which left 18 officers injured, President Gitanas Nausėda posted a message on Facebook, but did not follow the example of the parliament’s speaker to appear on national television to condemn the riot, according to Raskevičius.
Only several days after the clashes, the president’s adviser said the riots were unjustifiable, adding that the roughly 5,000 people who had gathered during the day were “protesting peacefully” and should be separated from those who took part in the clashes in the evening.
Various commentators previously pointed out that the mood during the day was tense, with protesters bringing mock gallows “for traitors” amid controversial speeches by the protest organisers.
Raskevičius criticised “the conscious attempts to separate the protest action with the gallows and Stars of David, calling it a sanctioned and peaceful demonstration, from the evening riots at the Seimas”, saying it was “flirtation with aggressive and anti-state protesters and rioters”.
In June, a president's adviser met and spoke with protesters rallying for traditional values. Povilas Mačiulis, the adviser, thanked the crowd for “showing that Lithuania is an active nation” and for “showing that you can defend your opinions and beliefs”. He was also pictured speaking to a prominent conspiracy theorist who later took part in the August 10 protest.
In a written comment at the time, the president’s office said Nausėda “does not fear talking to people, and doesn’t think that it should only be done once in four years”.