Council of Europe calls on Lithuania to adopt amendments to allow Paksas run for office

Rolandas Paksas
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

After Paksas was removed from office by impeachment in 2004, the Constitutional Court ruled that, since he had broken a constitutional oath, he could no longer assume any public post requiring one.

The European Court of Human Rights later ruled that the measure was disproportionate and obligated Lithuania to amend legislation in order to allow Paksas to run for office.

Because Lithuania has yet to implement the ruling, the enhanced supervision procedure is currently applied to the country.

In its publicly-accessible decision, the committee called on “the Lithuanian authorities to achieve tangible progress, in particular as regards the constitutional changes required to put an end to the persisting violation of the applicant’s right to free elections”.

The Constitutional Court of Lithuania says constitutional amendments are necessary to implement the ECHR ruling.

A vote on such amendments was postponed in January on Paksas’ own request, after it emerged that the bill would not receive necessary support. Politicians still disagree on whether Paksas should be allowed to run only for parliament or also be allowed to run for president or any other office involving giving a constitutional oath.

The decision of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Minister was adopted in late September.

The committee also applied the enhanced supervision procedure to Lithuania for its failure to adopt laws for the legalization of gender-reassignment.

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