Amid growing pressure from European bodies on Lithuania to allow its impeached President Rolandas Paksas to run for parliament, the Seimas' Committee on Legal Affairs is planning to submit certain constitutional amendments to the parliament for consideration, the daily Lietuvos Žinios reported on Friday.
Rolandas Paksas
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The amendments, drafted by the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats during the tenure of the previous Seimas, call for barring a person who has been removed from office or stripped of their mandate as a lawmaker by the parliament through impeachment for gross violation of the Constitution or breach of oath from being elected as president.

Such a person would be barred from being elected as a member of the Seimas for 10 years after their removal from office or the loss of their mandate, but he or she would be able to run for parliament after the 10-year period has passed.

The conservatives also propose that such a person should not be elected as speaker or deputy speaker of the Seimas.

Karolina Bubnytė, the government's representative at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), has said recently that the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, which monitors the execution of the Strasbourg court's judgments, is considering taking additional measures against Lithuania over its failure to lift the lifetime ban on Paksas to run for parliament.

Paksas has been barred from running for either president or parliament since his impeachment in 2004. The Constitutional Court has ruled that a person who has been removal 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 amendments.

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

Paksas is a member of the European Parliament, which is currently considering Lithuanian prosecutors' request to strip the former leader of the Order and Justice party of his legal immunity in a corruption case.

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