Extraordinary Seimas session was not ended properly, commission rules

DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

The extraordinary session, which opened on Monday last week, ended abruptly when MPs voted down the proposed agenda. Opposition parties, which initiated the sitting in order to launch impeachment procedures against a Labour Party MP, accused the ruling majority of violating rights of the opposition and failing to observe proper procedure.

The commission unanimously concluded that in order to conclude the session, parliament had to hold another vote before ending the sitting. Since there was no vote, the extraordinary session formally continues.

“The commission concluded that proper procedure had been violated: Article 143 of the Seimas Statute says that the chair had to call a vote on final rejection [of the agenda]. The Seimas then had to vote and only then sing the anthem [concluding the session],” said Leonardas Talmontas, the chair of the Ethics and Procedures Commission.

He added that MPs would have to convene in order to properly end the extraordinary session.

Opposition leader Andrius Kubilius, a conservative, said that MPs would convene to continue the plenary session on Thursday.

“Tomorrow, at 12, the Seimas is convening for a session. I believe this is a chance for the ruling majority to correct the mistake they made when they rejected the agenda, although I don’t know what they’ll do. It’s possible that the session tomorrow will end within five minutes, but the responsibility is with the ruling majority,” Kubilius said on Wednesday.

The Seimas regular session begins on March 10.

Forty-eight opposition MPs called the extraordinary session last week in order to impeach Labour MP Vytautas Gapšys who had been found guilty of doctoring his party’s accounting books.

However, parliament rejected the sitting’s proposed agenda with a vote of 31 against 21 with 44 abstentions. Following the vote, the meeting’s chair Algirdas Sysas, a social democrat, pronounced the session concluded.

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