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Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission postpones decision on Rolandas Paksas until Constitutional Court's ruling

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

Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission decided on Monday to postpone making a decision on the registration of MEP Rolandas Paksas, leader of the Order and Justice Party, as a candidate in the upcoming Seimas election until the Constitutional Court rules as to whether a law allowing Paksas to run for parliament does not violate the Constitution.

The court is expected to issue its ruling by 10 September.

Živilė Verbylaitė, a member of the commission, told her co-members on Monday that, according to unofficial information, the court's ruling would be issued later this week.

On 22 August, the Order and Justice Party presented documents of the party's candidates in the upcoming general elections to the electoral commission which is obliged by law to make a decision in Paksas' case within ten days.

A group of lawmakers had turned to the Constitutional Court asking it to rule as to whether an amendment to the Law on Election to the Seimas, banning individuals removed from office by impeachment to run for parliament for four years, does no run counter to the Constitution.

According to the MPs, the Constitution now states that 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., he/she cannot assume any office involving a constitutional oath. The Constitutional Court ruled thus in 2004 and therefore, the MPs believe, constitutional amendments have to be adopted alongside amendments to the Law on Election to the Seimas.

The amendment was adopted after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in January that the ban for lifetime was disproportionate.

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

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