Socialist People's Front

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Socialist People's Front
Leader Algirdas Paleckis
Founded 2009
Merger of Front Party and Lithuanian Socialist Party
Headquarters Vilnius, Kaštonų g. 4
Ideology Democratic socialism (officially)
Communism
Marxism-Leninism
Left-wing nationalism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
European affiliation Initiative of Communist and Workers' Parties
Continental affiliation Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Lithuanian parliament
0 / 141
European Parliament
0 / 12
Local councils
2 / 1,526
Website
slfrontas.lt
Politics of Lithuania
Political parties
Elections

The Socialist People's Front (SPF; Lithuanian: Socialistinis liaudies frontas) is a left-wing political party in Lithuania formed out of the December 19, 2009, merger of the Front Party and Lithuanian Socialist Party. Held at Vilnius University, the party's foundation featured 102 delegates. The merger was approved by an affirmative vote of 96 delegates, with three against and one abstaining. The leader of the Lithuanian Socialist Party, Giedrius Petružis, refused candidacy for chairperson of the merged party, claiming a desire to return to academic life. The leader of the Front Party, Algirdas Paleckis, was unanimously chosen as the leader of the SPF.[1]

The party participated in the 22nd international Communist seminar held in 2013.[2]

Ideology and Political Programme[edit]

The ideology of the SPF is democratic socialist. The party's by-laws and programme were ratified on at the party's founding on December 19, 2009. The party's by-laws indicate that the "Party is an inseparable part of the international leftist movement. It actively pursues the strengthening of bonds of friendship between Lithuania and other nations, fights for the continuation and strengthening of peace, and maintains contact with international nongovernmental organizations that adhere to the principles of democracy and socialism."[3] The goals of the party include "the institution of democratic socialism in Lithuania and the strengthening of a unified public, whose members help each other." The by-laws also indicate that:

In its political action the party follows the guidelines set by a creatively developing Marxist theory and methodology, advances made by western social democracies, the positive beginnings of soviet socialism, the achievements of the capitalist system beneficial to society, and the principles of humanitarianism, equal rights, and solidarity... The SPF represents physical and intellectual work done on behalf of the interests of the workers in the private, public, and governmental spheres. The SPF protects the rights of small and middle-sized businesses. Its persistent concern is the problems faced by recipients of welfare. The SPF will seek to achieve its goals only by peaceful, political means, respecting the Constitution of Lithuania, laws, and international acts and principles that defend human rights.[3]

Even though party is clearly far-left when it comes to their economic policy, the leader of the party oppose partnership laws for the LGBT and was among the initiators for organising the referendum on banning land sales to foreigners.

Structure[edit]

The SPF congress is the supreme organ of the party. The congress chooses the party's executive council, which oversees and organizes the activity of the party in between congresses, received decisions regarding creating coalitions with other parties, and approves the budget, any reports on the use of funds, and the candidacy of the head of the election committee. The party's sole leader is the chairperson. Territorial subgroups of the party are its chapters and groups.

Controversies[edit]

The SPF has caused controversy twice in 2010 when members of the party have been denied entry into Estonia. On April 21, party leader Algirdas Paleckis was part of a group of activists traveling to Estonia to protest NATO's policy regarding the war in Afghanistan. Paleckis was told that he was on the Estonian persona non-grata list because of his political views.[4] In late June, SPF activists, along with anti-fascists from Latvia, were denied entry on their way to protest a meeting of veterans of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS near the Vaivara concentration camp.[5] The activists were told that their vehicle was not fit for entry, and, according to the SPF, the only member of the SPF who managed the border crossing into Estonia was not on the official SPF list of activists and had not been mentioned by name by protest organizers over the telephone.[6]

In 2011, Lithuanian authorities had initiated prosecution against Paleckis for his alleged denial of Soviet aggression against Lithuania,[7] or, to be more specific, against his denial that Soviet soldiers were responsible for the deaths of 14 people (including one of their own) in January 13, 1991.[8] As part of his journalistic research, Paleckis found several witnesses and ballistic assessments that seemed to indicate that there were secret snipers on the roof of the Vilnius TV centre who were shooting into the civilians. He then went on to state publicly that “it appears that in January 1991 our own people were shooting at their natives”.[9] It recently became a crime in Lithuania to deny the official Lithuanian version concerning the events that happened in January 13, 1991.[10] A Vilnius court had vindicated Paleckis in January 2012. The prosecution had appealed, and Paleckis was sentenced to a fine of 10,400 litas on June 12, 2012.[11] Paleckis himself claimed that there was purportedly no independent investigation into the events of January 13, 1991 at the Vilnius TV tower.

The party also hails the Constitution of People's Seimas, adopted by the puppet government led by Justas Paleckis.

During the demonstration to commemorate Independence Day of Lithuania on February 15, 2014, the leader of Kaunas' branch Giedrius Grabauskas commented on the Act of March 11 as the one "having brought severe consequences to Lithuania".[12]

During the events of EuroMaidan the party was one of a few in Lithuania who clearly expressed support for the president Viktor Yanukovych. In May 20, 2014 the party, together with other small radical organisations, organised a small rally in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to voice its opposition towards Lithuanian foreign policy during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, making accusations for "representing the interests of the US and EU, not Lithuanian ones".

References[edit]

External links[edit]