Lithuanian constitution drafters could have been following the advice of several constitutional scholars in the West who claimed that quickly adopting an amendable constitution is preferable to indefinitely wrangling over the details. 1 This is not to say that the Lithuanian Constitution was drafted in an environment of relative harmony, but that drafting and adopting a constitution, however imperfect, was ultimately valued more highly than postponing the process. In large part, the quick-fix Constitution was a result of Lithuania's postcolonial status: by legally legitimizing its independence from the USSR and clearly distinguishing itself from the NIS countries, Lithuania could make its way back to 'Europe'. This is observed in other post-communist states seceding from federal structures; not only the other two Baltic states, but also Slovakia and Slovenia saw adopting a new constitution quickly as the way to boost their legitimacy—and prove their democratic intentions—as independent states in the international community, in the hope of securing themselves from possible reannexation.
Deep political conflict during constitution-drafting is clear from the compromise inherent in the system that was adopted. After months of bickering, the presidential and the parliamentary blocs finally settled on a semi-presidential system. Other important but contentious decisions were postponed for the legislature to decide. But the compromise did not put the separation of powers principle in jeopardy. Though somewhat clumsy, the institutions are well balanced and, due to tinkering with the electoral laws, parliamentary