Lithuanian president suggests parties shouldn’t delegate election panel members

Central Electoral Comission meeting
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

In her words, this would prevent politicians’ interference with the election watchdog’s operations.

“Seeing the rivalry among political parties about who will outdo who and will have more influence in the Central Electoral Commission, we face a question whether we should follow the example of some countries and try depoliticizing the commission so that its members are not appointed by political parties but by entirely different institutions,” Grybauskaitė told journalists in Trakai on Wednesday.

“The latest developments show again that both ruling parties and the opposition are trying in one way or another to influence the commission’s work, which is damaging to our young democracy,” said the president.

She noted that deciding on the suitability of Laura Matjošaitytė for heading the election watchdog was the parliament’s duty. On Tuesday, the majority of MPs rejected the opposition initiative of no-confidence in Matjošaitytė.

The president expressed hope that members of the Central Electoral Commission “realize the consequences of the voting and will take the responsibility of working in a more transparent, open and impartial manner.”

Under the law, the commission is comprised of lawyers proposed by the justice minister, the Lithuanian Society of Lawyers and the president and persons proposed by political parties that won mandates in multi-mandate voting.

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