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Old 02-16-2013, 08:18 AM   #529
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Default Re: THE Country Celebration Thread

February 16:

Lithuania (1918) --- State Reestablishment Day



In 1917, towards the end of World War I, Germany failed to recognize Lithuania as an independent state, and the Lithuanian delegation was not invited to the Brest-Litovsk negotiations that started on December 22, 1917 between the Central Powers and Russia in order to settle territorial claims. During the first and final official joint session between the Council and the German authorities, it was made clear that the Council would serve only as an advisory board. This situation gave additional backing to those Council members who were seeking independence without any ties to other countries. The prime concern at this point was to invite back those members who had left the Council. Negotiations were undertaken that led to the reformulation of previous versions of the Act.

The four withdrawn members demanded that the Council return to the Act of January 8 and omit the mention of any alliance with Germany. After heated debates that lasted for several weeks, on February 15, at 10 o'clock am, the new revision of the Act was ready. It included, with minor stylistic changes, wording of the Act of January 8 and promulgation and notification, drafted on February 1. Promulgation and notification do not carry legal weight and do not change the meaning of a legal document. The Council, including the withdrawn members, was invited to return the next day for its finalization. On the next day, February 16, 1918, at 12:30 pm, all twenty Council members met in the room of Lithuanian Committee for Support of the War Victims, at 30 Didžioji Street in Vilnius. The building has since been known as the House of the Signatories (Lithuanian: signatarų namai) and houses a museum. The Council first voted to approve the first part, the first two paragraphs up to the word drauge, of the Act. This section was approved unanimously. The second part, however, did not receive support from the four withdrawn members because they were not satisfied with the word "finally" in describing the duties of the Constituent Assembly (in "... the foundation of the Lithuanian State and its relations with other countries will be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly ..."). They were afraid that this word would give a pretext for the Council to usurp the powers of the Constituent Assembly, while the majority argued that the word simply expressed the non-negotiable and non-appealable nature of the future Assembly's decisions. Therefore the Act was unanimously approved en bloc but did not have full-fledged support from all twenty men.
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