Amendment to allow Paksas to run for Lithuanian parliament, president to be submitted

Rolandas Paksas

A draft constitutional amendment to allow Lithuania's impeached former president, Rolandas Paksas, to run both in parliamentary and presidential elections is planned to be submitted to the Seimas on Tuesday.

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.

The draft amendment has been registered by 72 lawmakers, mostly members of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's political group in the Seimas, including its leader, Ramūnas Karbauskis, and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

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.

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

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

Source: BNS
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