aA
A draft constitutional amendment to allow Lithuania's impeached former president, Rolandas Paksas, to run both in parliamentary and presidential elections passed the first reading in the Seimas on Tuesday.
Rolandas Paksas
Rolandas Paksas
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Seventy-nine members of the parliament voted in favor of the amendment, 23 voted against and 19 abstained.

Paksas has been barred from running for either president or parliament since his impeachment back in 2004.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in 2011 that the lifetime ban on Paksas to stand for parliament was disproportionate and ran counter to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Seven years on, the Seimas has made no progress on amending the Constitution, Rimas Andrikis of the Order and Justice party noted when presenting the amendment to the parliament.

The lawmaker expects that the amendment will help bring the issue toward a resolution.

The amendment would allow a person removed from office through impeachment to be elected as lawmaker and president, as well as appointed as minister, prime minister and judge or state ombudsman, after 10 years have passed since the impeachment vote.

Two opposition parties - the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats and the Liberal Movement - earlier tabled another draft constitutional amendment that would allow Paksas to run for parliament, but would not open the way for him to run for president or be elected as the speaker of the Seimas.

That amendment earlier this month passed the first reading in the Seimas with 99 votes in favor, two against and ten abstentions.

"This draft amendment is absolutely incompatible with the ECHR judgement," Andrikis said, referring to the opposition-proposed amendment.

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court has ruled that a person removed from office through impeachment can never again hold a public office that requires an oath and that the Constitution needs to be amended to lift the ban. The Seimas has repeatedly failed to muster enough votes to pass such an amendment.

The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which monitors the execution of the Strasbourg court's judgments, has placed Lithuania under the so-called "enhanced supervision procedure" over the parliament's failure to pass amendments lifting the lifetime ban on Paksas to run in elections.

A constitutional amendment must be debated and voted on twice by the Seimas, with an interval of at least three months between the votes, and requires a two-thirds majority, or 94 votes, to be adopted.

Paksas was ousted by impeachment in April 2004 after the Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled that he had grossly violated the Constitution and his oath of office by granting Lithuanian citizenship to Yuri Borisov, the main financial supporter of his presidential election campaign.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Lithuania declares nationwide emergency due to coronavirus threat

The Lithuanian government declared on Wednesday a nationwide emergency in an effort to minimize...

Police chief in Kaunas Zukauskas sacked

Darius Zukauskas , chief of Kaunas County Chief Police Commissariat , has been dismissed from the...

Installation of Chinese CCTV in Kaunas raises security concern

The installation of a CCTV system produced by Chinese company Hikvision in Lithuania's...

Foreing ministry asks people to refrain from trips to Tenerife city

Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked people to refrain from trips to the Tenerife...

Defense ministry moves to introduce 'official use' label in defense system

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to introduce the " official use " label for sensitive...

Top news

Lithuania declares nationwide emergency due to coronavirus threat

The Lithuanian government declared on Wednesday a nationwide emergency in an effort to minimize...

Installation of Chinese CCTV in Kaunas raises security concern

The installation of a CCTV system produced by Chinese company Hikvision in Lithuania's...

Police chief in Kaunas Zukauskas sacked

Darius Zukauskas , chief of Kaunas County Chief Police Commissariat , has been dismissed from the...

Lithuanian author long-listed for prestigious UK literary award

Noir Press announced that Lithuanian author Grigory Kanovich has just been long-listed for the...

Lithuanian model Ieva hits the London Fashion Week catwalk

A Lithuanian student from Kėdainiai swapped designing clothes for modelling them at one of the...