Oath Prevents Tony G From Running For Lithuanian ParliamentDecember 2, 2015 2:20 pm
Antanas “Tony G” Guoga may represent Lithuania as a member of the European Parliament, but the former poker pro has had his hopes dashed of running for Lithuania’s parliament (Seimas) in next year’s elections due to issues related to his holding dual citizenship with Australia. According to a 1998 ruling by Lithuania’s Constitutional Court, candidates for the parliament of Lithuania should not be “bound by an oath or pledge to a foreign state”, basically meaning that they cannot hold dual citizenship with other countries. Commenting on the seeming inconsistency in the law, Antanas Guoga said:
“We will not build a greater Lithuania and we will not bring Lithuanians back from around the world if we don’t adapt our legal system to today’s realities. Dual citizenship is no obstacle to representing Lithuania in the European Parliament…to being a minister or even prime minister. Why should it be an obstacle to being a member of the Seimas?”
In 1973, Guoga was born in Lithuania, and later moved to Australia aged 11. Despite becoming a successful Australian businessman, Guoga never forgot his roots and over the years he has invested in numerous Lithuania business projects. Last year, the 41 year old even married Lithuanian model Aiste Šlapokaite in Lithuania’s capital city, his beloved Vilnius. Furthermore, this year Guoga was placed on POLITICO 28 most influential Europeans list, with each year the political magazine singling out one person from each of the 28 member EU states for their influence in shaping European politics.
In addition to his other accolades, Antanas “Tony G” Guoga is a talented poker professional, having amassed $4,826,341 in live tournament earnings since 2002, including winning the 2005 European Poker Championships in London for £260,000 ($456,822). In 2010, Guoga created the Lithuanian Poker Federation, but his priorities have changed since turning to politics, and in 2014 he confirmed his retirement from professional poker.