Lithuania is an independent democratic republic with a multi-party parliament. Our state's legislative power is vested in the Seimas (as we call our Parliament), the executive - in the Government. Lithuania’s foreign policy is carried out by the President and the Government.
The President’s term of office in our country is 5 years. The President is elected by all citizens of Lithuania who are over 18 years of age. The President can be elected for no more than two consecutive terms. Currently, our country is led by the seventh head of state after the Restoration of Independence and the first woman President - Dalia Grybauskaitė.
Seimas – is the name of our parliament, supreme legislative body. Seimas is a unicameral parliament with 141 members who are elected in direct and secret elections for a 4 year term. The first sitting of the Seimas after the elections is opened by the eldest member of the Seimas.
The Government is composed of Prime Minister (currently Algirdas Butkevičius), acting as its head, and a cabinet of 14 ministers – the country’s executive body.
Lithuania is a multi-party republic. The most popular parties in Lithuania are Social Democrats and Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats.
Independence and Soviet Occupation
On 16 February 1918, 20 trusted representatives of the Lithuanian nation signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania “re-establishing an independent state, based on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital city, severing all previous links with other states.” Having withstood the fight for independence against Bolsheviks and Polish invaders, Lithuania sealed its parliamentary democracy in the Constituent Assembly (Steigiamasis Seimas) in 1920.
On 15 June 1945, the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania and, on 14–18 June, started mass deportations of the Lithuanian population to remote areas of the Soviet Union. Yet we have survived these hardships: we endured occupations, first by the Soviets, then by the Nazi Germany. Many Lithuanians joined partisan groups to fight for Lithuania's independence. The period of partisan fights is one of the most dramatic and tragic events in Lithuania‘s history.
On 11 March 1990, the independent State of Lithuania was re-established. However, its people’s will was opposed by the Soviet Union authorities which, on 13 January 1991, sent to Vilnius their well trained and heavily armed paratrooper units. But even under the threat of violence Lithuania responded to the Soviet Union's aggression peacefully – without arms, singing songs and with an endless faith in its victory. That is why these events are commonly referred to as the Singing Revolution. This was the third time in history that Lithuania started an epoch of autonomous life.
EU and NATO Membership
Following its EU and NATO membership in 2004, Lithuania again reunited with the European family. Once an EU member, Lithuania has become an official donor country and has been giving aid to Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Iraq; it has also been fulfilling multilateral obligations within the EU framework.