Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė says she will support the proposals to allow non-Lithuanian characters of the Latin alphabet on the main page of personal documents, if a green light is received form the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© Kas vyksta Kaune / Rokas Tenys

"Any law that has to do with this or attempts to solve the spelling (of names) of people of all nationalities in Lithuania, including Lithuanians, has to be specified by the commission of the Lithuanian language, and if the commission gives a go-ahead, I will give my support," Grybauskaite told journalists on Tuesday.

She spoke shortly after the bill on the spelling of first and last names in documents passed the first reading in the Seimas in a vote of 64 to 25 with 13 abstentions and will now be discussed at parliamentary committees. The bill is expected to return to the full parliament on Jun. 20.

The parliament also discussed an alternative version where the original names would be entered on an additional passport of the passport. The bill, which follows the Latvian example, was supported by 53 parliamentarians, 19 were against and 25 abstained.

The legal acts currently in effect in Lithuania only allow Lithuanian characters in the spelling of first and last names of Lithuanian citizens in documents. Lithuanian courts have handed down a few rulings, obligating migration authorities to spell names of Lithuanian citizens in passports with non-Lithuanian characters, however, the authorities have refused to do so, citing superiority of laws over court rulings.

The rulings do not satisfy the claims in full, as they only allow the Lithuanian version of first and last names on the main page of the passport, with the original names included among other entries. Those seeking to have the original spelling say their rights are being violated.

Lithuania's Constitutional Court ruled in 2014 that by setting the rules for spelling of first and last names in passports, the parliament should turn to language watchdogs for a "clearly-cut position, clear proposals the legislative body could not disregard."

Proposal to make Jan 13 public holiday registered

Two lawmakers from the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats...

Telemedicine services to be launched next year

Lithuania plans to launch telemedicine services for district and regional hospitals as of next year.

From transgender person to Karbauskis' son: 2020 military list

Five players of Lithuania's two top basketball teams, two members of the national football team, a...

Lithuania's population grows for 1st time in 28 years

Lithuania's population has grown for the first time in 28 years due to migration trends, the...

Liberals move to lower minimum age for standing as MP

The opposition Liberal Movement proposes to amend the Constitution to lower the minimum age for...