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Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission looks forward to Constitutional Court's ruling on Rolandas Paksas running for MP

Rolandas Paksas
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Rolandas Paksas
Šaltinis: BNS

Zenonas Vaigauskas, chairman of Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission, hopes the Constitutional Court will soon rule on the Law on Elections to the Seimas that opened doors for impeached President Rolandas Paksas to run for parliament.

"We hope the Constitutional Court's ruling will come before a decision by the Central Electoral Commission," Vaigauskas said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Oder and Justice Party presented documents of the party's candidates in the upcoming Seimas elections to the electoral commission. The party's leader and MEP Rolandas Paksas is the first in the list.

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court plans to start hearing a complaint by a group of MPs over the amendment to the Law on Elections to the Seimas which bans people removed from office by impeachment to run for parliament for four years.

The MPs believe such an amendment may run counter to the Constitution as, according to them, the Lithuanian Constitution says a person removed from office for a gross violation of the Constitution or a breach of oath can never be elected president, MP, i.e., that he or she cannot assume office that requires giving a constitutional oath. The Constitutional Court gave a ruling to that effect in 2004, therefore, the MPs believe, constitutional amendments have to be adopted alongside amendments to the election law.

Vaigauskas said on Wednesday the deadline for the Central Electoral Commission to make its final decisions on all candidates is 13 September. It has to announce all candidates running for parliament on 14 September.

"I think we won’t need to wait for a constitutional ruling that long," he said.

According to Vaigauskas, if the Constitutional Court fails to issue a ruling in ten days, provided for by laws to make a decision on registering a candidate, the electoral commission will have to decide whether to continue waiting or make a decision of its own in Paksas' case.

Paksas sees no reason why one should wait for a ruling by the Constitutional Court and not register him as a candidate.

"Why should I wait? We have the law today, it allows us to do that. The law is in force, signed by the president. I see no legal reason for waiting and not doing what I have to do," Paksas said when asked by reporters why he wants to be registered as a candidate without waiting for the Constitutional Court's ruling.

Paksas was impeached and removed from office in April 2004 for breaching his oath and committing a gross violation of the Constitution after he granted Lithuanian citizenship by his decree to his key financial supporter Yuriy Borisov.

The Seimas elections are scheduled for 14 October.

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