Lithuania's Seimas on Thursday gave its initial backing to a constitutional amendment that would allow leader of the Order and Justice party Rolandas Paksas who was impeached and removed as president to run for parliament and president.
Rolandas Paksas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

81 Lithuanian lawmakers voted in favor of the amendment that would allow a person to run for parliament or president 10 years after impeachment and removal, 5 were against and 28 abstained. The draft amendment will now go to the parliamentary Committees on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the Constitutional Commission for further consideration and will return for parliamentary deliberation in late June.

The amendment was proposed by 100 Seimas members representing all political groups, excluding the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats. The latter have drafted a separate amendment that would allow an impeached and removed person to run only for parliament but would ban such a person to be elected one of the leaders of the Seimas or president.

The amendment initially backed by the Seimas on Thursday stipulates that " persons who have committed a gross violation of the Constitution or breach of oath and who have been removed from office or have been stripped of their mandate by way of parliamentary impeachment cannot be elected members of the Seimas for 10 years after their removal or loss of mandate."

The current version of the Lithuanian Constitution suggests that any citizen of Lithuania eligible to run for parliament can also be a candidate for president.

In Lithuania, amendments of the Constitution must be considered and voted by the Seimas twice. There must be a break of not less than three months between the votes. A constitutional amendments is deemed adopted by the Seimas if, during each of the votes, not less than two thirds of all the members of the Seimas vote in favor.

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