Lithuania should adopt constitutional amendments to allow Rolandas Paksas, the impeached former president, to run for elected office, says Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for health and food safety and member of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania. However, he is critical of a recent resolution passed by the Lithuanian parliament, advocating Paksas' rehabilitation.
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"Recently, the Seimas adopted a strange resolution with findings concerning a constitutional case. The findings indeed contravene every principle of the rule of law," Andriukaitis told the radio Žinių Radijas commenting on the findings of the so-called Seimas ad hoc Commission for Restoration of Civil and Political Rights of President Rolandas Paksas.

The document should not have been passed by the Seimas, Andriukaitis believes: "We are in the situation when anything may be done disregarding the Constitution. At some point oaths are taken to follow the Constitution, but the next moment they are disregarded and all kinds of resolutions are passed."

Paksas, who was impeached in 2004, has been barred by a Constitutional Court ruling from running for any elected office. Paksas challenged the decision at the European Court of Human Rights, securing a ruling that the life-long ban was excessive and violated his political rights.

According to Andriukaitis, the issue may be solved by amending the constitutional regulation. Although the Seimas failed to adopt such an amendment several weeks ago, it should be rephrased and submitted for adoption again. The European commissioner says Paksas should not be held hostage to the situation.

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