The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recommends that Lithuania should allow people with dual citizenship to run for a seat in the parliament.
Lithuanian passport
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights issued the recommendation in its report on last October's general elections in Lithuania.

Zenonas Vaigauskas, chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, links the recommendation to the European Court of Human Rights' 2010 judgment in a case against Moldova.

"This recommendation came after a Moldovan won the European Court of Human Rights case against Moldova regarding his Romanian citizenship. Moldova allowed practically all (Moldovan citizens) to acquire Romanian citizenship without restriction, but their right to stand as candidates was restricted," he told BNS.

The Lithuanian Constitution bans people with dual citizenship to run for parliament.

Vytautas Sinkevičius, a former Constitutional Court judge, says that the constitutional requirement for a candidate not to be bound by an oath or pledge to a foreign state makes the implementation of the OSCE recommendation impossible.

"There are no international legal norms as what individuals may stand for election. There are general principles that regulation must be such as to enable voters to elect their representation," Sinkevičius told BNS.

"The Constitutional Court has looked into this matter and said that a person who holds citizenship of another state cannot be elected as a member of the Seimas," he said.

The constitutional law expert would not comment on how realistic it would be to amend the Constitution to lift the restriction as recommended by the OSCE.

"It is difficult to say how it would be theoretically. At present, the Constitutional Court's ruling puts it very clearly," he said.

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