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Without changing the Constitution, Lithuania cannot execute the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on violated rights of impeached President Rolandas Paksas, Justice Minister Milda Vainiutė says.
European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
© Reuters/Scanpix

"Changing the Constitution is the only way. We will decide on the government's level on what we should do, it takes a political consensus," Vainiutė told journalists at the parliament on Thursday in comment of the latest ruling of the Constitutional Court.

"We are currently analyzing the Constitutional Court ruling, studying it and searching for possible solutions," she said.

MP Petras Gražulis of the political group of the Order and Justice Party emphasized that Lithuania had to execute the ECHR ruling, regardless of the finding of the Constitutional Court.

He pledged to talk to representatives of the biggest political group – the Peasant and Green Union – and discuss the Constitutional amendment to allow impeached persons to run for parliament after some time.

Earlier on Thursday, the Constitutional Court found that conclusions of Lithuania's earlier parliament "on restoration of civil and political rights of President Rolandas Paksas" ran counter to the Constitution.

According to the ruling, the commission's conclusions deny the Constitutional concept of the institute of impeachment stipulated in the official doctrine. Based on the conclusions, the parliament would have been granted the mandate that is not stipulated in the Constitution and have the authorization of the Constitutional Court.

At the end of last year, the 2012-2016 parliament adopted a resolution to endorse the conclusions of an ad hoc commission, suggesting that the 2004 impeachment against Paksas, then leader of the Order and Justice Party, can be canceled by way of a political decision. The commission was initiated by then ruling Order and Justice Party, it did not include any representatives of the opposition, which dismissed the goals as absurd.

The Constitutional Court was approached by a group of conservative MPs over the resolution, which aims to rehabilitate the impeached leader of the Order and Justice Party, MEP Paksas.

Paksas cannot run for president and parliament since he was ousted from the President's Office in 2004. The Constitutional Court has ruled that impeached persons cannot hold any position involving a Constitutional oath for life. It said changing the provision would require amending the Constitution.

The European Court of Human Rights three years ago dismissed the current life-long ban as disproportional.

Paksas was ousted from the President's Office in an impeachment procedure in April of 2004. The Constitutional Court found him guilty of gross violation of oath of office and the Constitution by granting the Lithuanian citizenship to his financial sponsor, Borisov. In May of 2004, the parliament amended the election law to bar persons who had violated their Constitutional oath from taking any position involving the oath.

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