Memoranda to President Smetona by the Opposition Leaders: the Start of Uniting the Opposition
Keywords:Memoranda, Opposition leaders, Goverment, Seimas, Coalition
Memoranda to President Smetona by the opposition leaders: the start of uniting the opposition The article analyses the memoranda of the opposition leaders to Antanas Smetona, President of the Republic of Lithuania, written in 1935 – 1938. It identifies reasons of their origin as well as reveals the Government’s reaction and actions in regard to the persons who signed them. During the period of authoritarianism, the leaders of the opposition parties, despite repressions, responded to the ongoing home and foreign developments by their speeches in the party meetings, reports made in the events organized by the opposition and by writing memoranda to the President. In the years 1935-1938 the president was presented with three memoranda signed by the opposition leaders, which started a regular cooperation between the leaders of the Christian Democratic and Peasant populists parties. The Government led by the Nationalist Party resorted to sanctions against the signatories of the memoranda and issued some antidemocratic laws to suppress the opposition and to retain power in their hands. That weakened the influence of the Christian Democratic and Peasant Populists parties on the society; therefore, they formed a coalition with the supporters of Voldemaras.