Politics of Lithuania

Politics of Lithuania takes place in a framework of a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Lithuania is the head of state and the Prime Minister of Lithuania is the head of government, of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President and the Government, headed by the Prime Minister. Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Seimas. Judicial power is vested in judges appointed by the President of Lithuania and is independent of executive and legislature power; the judiciary consists of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal as well as the separate administrative courts. The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania established these powers upon its approval on 25 October 1992. Being a multi-party system, the government of Lithuania is not dominated by any single political party, rather it consists of numerous parties that must work with each other to form coalition governments; the Economist Intelligence Unit rated Lithuania a "flawed democracy" in 2019.

Since Lithuania declared independence on 11 March 1990, it has kept strong democratic traditions. Drawing from the interwar experiences, politicians made many different proposals that ranged from strong parliamentarism to a presidential republic with checks and balances similar to the United States. Through compromise, a semi-presidential system was settled. In a referendum on 25 October 1992, the first general vote of the people since their declared independence, 56.75% of the total number of voters supported the new constitution. All major political parties declared their support for Lithuania's membership in NATO and the European Union. Lithuania joined NATO on 29 March 2004, joined the EU on 1 May 2004. Since 1991, Lithuanian voters have shifted from right to left and back again, swinging between the Conservatives, led by Vytautas Landsbergis, the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania, led by president Algirdas Brazauskas. During this period, the prime minister was Gediminas Vagnorius. Valdas Adamkus has been the president for most of the time since 1998.

His prime minister was Rolandas Paksas, whose government got off to a rocky start and collapsed within seven months. The alternation between left and right was broken in the October 2000 elections when the Liberal Union and New Union parties won the most votes and were able to form a centrist ruling coalition with minor partners. President Adamkus played a key role in bringing the new centrist parties together. Artūras Paulauskas, the leader of the centre-left New Union, became the Chairman of the Seimas. In July 2001, the centre-left New Union party forged an alliance with the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania and formed a new cabinet under former president Algirdas Brazauskas. On 11 April 2006, Artūras Paulauskas was removed from his position and Viktoras Muntianas was elected Chairman of the Seimas; the cabinet of Algirdas Brazauskas resigned on 31 May 2006, as President Valdas Adamkus expressed no confidence in two of the Ministers party colleagues of Brazauskas, over ethical principles.

Brazauskas decided not to remain in office as acting Prime Minister, announced that he was retiring from politics. So, he led the ruling Social Democratic Party of Lithuania for one more year, until 19 May 2007, when he passed the reins to Gediminas Kirkilas. On 27 November 2008, Andrius Kubilius was appointed as a Prime Minister. In 2012, Algirdas Butkevičius became the Prime Minister. On 22 November 2016, Saulius Skvernelis became current Prime Minister. Government in Lithuania is made up of three branches envisioned by enlightenment philosopher Baron de Montesquieu: executive and judicial; each branch is set up to do checks and balances on each other branch. The executive branch of the Lithuanian government consists of a President, a Prime Minister, the President's Council of Ministers, it is in charge of running the government. The President of Lithuania is the head of state of the country, elected directly for a five-year term and can serve maximum of two terms consecutively. Presidential elections take place in a modified version of the two-round system.

If half of voters participate, a candidate must win a majority of the total valid vote in order to win election in the first round. If fewer than half participate, a candidate can win outright with a plurality, provided that he or she wins at least one third of the total vote. If the first round does not produce a president, a runoff is held between the top two finishers in the first round, with a plurality sufficient to win; the President, with the approval of the Seimas, is first responsible of appointing the Prime Minister. Upon the Prime Minister's nomination, the President appoints, under the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the judges for all courts; the President serves as the commander-in-chief, oversees foreign and security policy, addresses political problems of foreign and domestic affairs, proclaims states of emergency, considers the laws adopted by the Seimas, performs other duties specified in the Constitution.

Lithuanian presidents have somewhat greater power than their counterparts in Estonia and Latvia, but have more influence in foreign policy than domestic policy. Dalia Grybauskaitė has served as the president of Lithuania since July 2009, winning a reelection bid in 2014. Grybauskaitė succeeded Valdas Adamkus. Former President Rolandas Paksas, who had defeated Adamkus in 2003, was impeached in April 2004 for leaking classified information

Harold A. Sackeim

Harold A. Sackeim is an American psychologist and proponent of electroconvulsive therapy, he has been Chief of the Department of Biological Psychiatry at New York State Psychiatric Institute and Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry and Radiology at Columbia University. He received his Bachelor's degree from Columbia in 1972. D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Sackeim is co-author of more than 300 publications relating to electroconvulsive therapy; until 2007 all of his research expounded on its positive effects. For many years he denied that electroconvulsive therapy had any permanent or negative side effects, including memory loss, despite the many complaints of individuals who had undergone the procedure. In 2007, his research found that excessive electrical dosage correlated with risk of memory loss. For many years during his research of electroconvulsive therapy, Sackheim consulted for MECTA and Somatics, companies that manufacture devices for its administration, constituting what many consider a conflict of interest.

In 2007 Sackeim and his colleagues published the results of a study which followed 250 patients who had received electroconvulsive therapy. The study found that the various techniques used when giving electroconvulsive therapy can have a direct impact on the adverse effects experienced by patients. Sackeim and colleagues demonstrated that right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy with an ultra brief pulse appears to be the most efficacious, while remaining the least to cause adverse effects

Solomon Hochoy

Solomon Hochoy was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian politician. He was the last British governor of Trinidad and Tobago and the first governor-general upon the country's independence in 1962, he was the first non-white governor of a British crown colony and the first ethnically Han Chinese and nationally Caribbean person to become governor-general in the Commonwealth. Of Hakka Han Chinese background, his family emigrated to Trinidad when he was two years old and he grew up in Blanchisseuse. After rising through the civil service, Hochoy was appointed the first non-white Governor in the entire British Empire in 1960; when Trinidad and Tobago became independent in 1962 Hochoy was appointed Governor General. He was succeeded by Ellis Clarke. After retirement he returned to Blanchisseuse, he was married to a social activist. The Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway and the Solomon Hochoy Trophy are named in his honour. Anthony, Michael. Historical Dictionary of Trinidad and Tobago. Lanham, Maryland, US & London, UK: Scarecrow Press, Inc.

ISBN 0-8108-3173-2. Sinaswee, Sonja. "Lady Thelma Hochoy: First and always... a lady". The Sunday Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2017 – via National Library and Information System. "The Hochoys: Sir Solomon and Lady Thelma Hochoy". Saint Augustine and Tobago: Campus Libraries, University of the West Indies. Archived from the original on 30 April 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2017. Sir Solomon Hochoy Independence Feature on YouTube