Order and Justice (TT). Order and Justice is a populist party based around the personality of Rolandas Paksas. Paksas was a former PM and Mayor of Vilnius who had been a member of the Social Democrats, the Homeland Union and the Liberal Union when he founded TT in 2002 after losing a leadership race in the latter party.
Paksas subsequently went on to win the Presidential election, despite backing for every major party for his opponent. However concerns arose about Paksas’ alleged ties to the Russian mafia. Paksas gave Lithuanian citizenship to Yuri Borisov, head of an aviation firm who had donated $400,000 to his campaign. This was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and an investigation was launched into Paksas’ connections. He was subsequently impeached on charges of leaking classified information to Borisov, improperly giving him citizenship and interfering in a privatisation.
Paksas was banned from contesting future elections, a decision later found to violate the European Convention on Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights.
Despite this Paksas has remained a popular figure with certain parts of the Lithuanian electorate, due to his radical anti-establishment stances, and his charisma. A flamboyant former stunt pilot, Paksas claims that charges against him were trumped up due to his “attempts to challenge the system”.
Order and Justice maintains an oddball ideology comprised of a mixture of liberal, conservative and right-wing populist themes. It is strong on law and order, with Paksas previously stating his desire to see the death penalty used for drug traffickers.
Order and Justice is a member of the current government, in which it holds the Environment and Interior ministries.
The party considered a merger with the Labour Party last year but eventually suspended talks. Merger would have made the new merged party the largest party in the government and could have led to the merged party seizing the Premiership.
Order and Justice is Lithuania’s most Eurosceptic party though it maintains fairly pro-European positions in comparison to most parties in Europe.
TT is a member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group in the European parliament. Its two MEPs are incredibly disloyal to the group, voting alongside it only 46.8% of the time (meaning they vote against it more than with it), making them the least loyal member of the group.