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Lithuanian Parliament votes to dismiss Central Electoral Commission

Zenonas Vaigauskas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Zenonas Vaigauskas
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania's parliament approved a resolution on Tuesday evening, terminating the mandate of the Central Electoral Commission as of mid-December.

The draft resolution was supported by 55 MPs, 28 were against, and 17 abstained.

The Seimas board originally suggested to terminate the mandate as of next week, but parliamentarians backed the proposal from Social Democratic MP Juozas Olekas to postpone the date to 13 December.

The resolution also authorizes the justice minister and the Lithuanian Society of Lawyers to propose candidates for the commission members by Dec. 3.

Back during the discussion of the bid, the commission's chairman Zenonas Vaigauskas was tight-lipped about the proposal to remove the electoral body.

"Let's wait for the parliament's decision. I think the Seimas should consider such decisions after the Constitutional Court ruling – this is envisaged in the law that, in case the Constitutional Court decides to change (the Central Electoral Commission's) decisions, there is a reason to discuss formation of a new Central Electoral Commission," Vaigauskas told journalists.

According to the draft resolution prepared in line with the recent Constitutional Court's finding, the electoral body violated the law by approving the election results and should thus have its mandate terminated.

Under the law, the parliament should cancel the mandate of the Central Electoral Commission, if the overall election results are wrong or the commission's operations violate election laws.

On Saturday, the Constitutional Court said the Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission's decision regarding the line-up in Labour Party candidate list ran counter to the law, even though it did not propose altering the total number of mandates won by the party.

The parliament was proposed to exclude three individuals who, according to the Constitutional Court ruling, were elected as a result of vote buying from the candidate list, but the Seimas fell short of votes to approve the resolution.

The Constitutional Court also said that the Central Electoral Commission should not have approved the final election results in Biržai–Kupiškis multi-mandate district and should have invalidated them. According to the court ruling, the procedure of vote counting was breached in one of the electoral areas and other gross violations were committed, thus having a major effect upon overall voting results in the area.

Parliament discussed the proposed resolution to invalidate results in Biržai–Kupiškis, with the final vote moved to Wednesday. The electoral body has announced Aleksandras Zeltinis of the Social Democratic Party as winner of the elections in the constituency.

BNS
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