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Parliament backs ammendment easing sanctions on impeached politicians

Rolandas Paksas
Užsakovų nuotr. / Rolandas Paksas
Šaltinis: BNS

On Tuesday, Lithuanian lawmakers backed amendments preventing politicians from running for parliament for four years following a removal from office by impeachment. One more vote is needed for the amendments to be finally adopted.

35 MPs voted in favor of the proposed amendments, 3 were against, and 21 abstained.

The parliament had debated two versions of amendments which received initial backing. The parliamentary Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities decided that four years were enough to prevent impeached politicians from running for parliament. One proposal that the Committee had considered provided for no sanctions, and another proposed banning impeached politicians from parliament for 8 years.

The current Law on Elections to the Seimas stipulates that an official who was removed from office by impeachment or had his or her mandate revoked by the parliament is banned from running for parliament indefinitely.

So far, the amendments would be relevant for only two people in Lithuania. One of them is Rolandas Paksas, leader of the opposition Order and Justice Party, former President and currently MEP, who was impeached and removed from the presidential office in 2004. Another is Linas Karalius, who was sacked from the parliament in 2010.

The Law on Elections to the Seimas is being amended after the European Court of Human Rights ruled Januarylast year that Lithuania violated the European Convention on Human Rights by banning Paksas from running for parliament indefinitely.

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