Poland recently celebrated the 225th anniversary of Europe's first written constitution, but the country's current right-wing government is doing everything to undermine its current constitutional rule, says Dainius Žalimas, the chairman of Lithuania's Constitutional Court.
© AFP/Scanpix

"Developments [in Poland] would be hardly imaginable in a democratic state, including Poland. A year ago, hardly anyone could have predicted these processes - the Polish government completely ignoring the Constitutional Court's rulings, proclaiming them null and void, which in itself is a violation of the rule of law. It reeks of attempts to usurp and undermine the functions of constitutional justice," Žalimas tells LRT.

The Polish government has refused to announce the Constitutional Court's rulings.

The government in Warsaw, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski's right-wing Law and Justice party, argues that it has the popular mandate to govern and overturn rulings by an unelected body.

Such a view is a perversion of democracy, Žalimas says.

"Democracy is not just the rule of the majority. Democracy is not just a dictatorship by the majority. Democracy is also submitting to laws. In the end, democracy is a system of breaks and balances," he says.

Žalimas is also critical of the Polish government's ambitions to change or completely replace the country's current constitution, which came into force in 1997.

"I've heard in unofficial talks that, back in 2010, they drafted a document for a new constitution for Poland which envisaged a super-presidential republic, concentrating much power in the hands of the head of state," Žalimas says.

Vilnius mayor: government not pulling out of stadium project

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has assured him...

New chief of defense: I am a realist and don’t dream about things we cannot have

Lithuania's incoming chief of defense , Major General Valdemaras Rupsys , says he will seek to...

Russian oil contamination suspect seeking political asylum in Lithuania

Roman Ruzhechko , a suspect in a Russian oil pipeline contamination probe who was detained in...

10 unreported moments: Grybauskaite's diplomacy behind-the-scenes

With Dalia Grybauskaite having ended her second term as Lithuanian president, here is a look at her...

Most-advanced US fighter jets land in Lithuania for 1st time

The United States' most-advanced fighter jets F-35 landed in Lithuania on Thursday.