The amendment to electoral laws, passed last year, is aimed at ensuring that politicians take up their seats in the Seimas rather than using their names to shore up their parties’ candidate lists.
During the general elections in 2012, four MEPs were elected to the Lithuanian parliament, but only one gave up the seat in Brussels and Strasbourg to become an MP.
With the new rules in place, candidates who win a seat in the Seimas would automatically lose their mandate in the European Parliament. Previously, elected candidates could choose weather to keep their old jobs or take up the mandate.
A number of prominent politicians, currently holding seats in Brussels, have confirmed they would not be running for the Seimas. These include Zigmantas Balčytis and Vilija Blinkevičiūtė of the Social Democratic Party, Antanas Guoga of the Liberal Movement, Bronis Ropė of the Peasant and Green Union, Algirdas Saudargas of the Homeland Union, and Viktor Uspaskich of the Labour Party.
MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis, the leader of the conservative Homeland Union, has told LRT Radio he will be seeking a Seimas seat, as will Valdemar Tomaševski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.
MEP Rolandas Paksas, of the Order and Justice party, is barred by law from running for parliament in Lithuania.
Valentinas Mazuronis, the leader of the Labour Party, has yet to decide whether to give up his EP seat for one in the Lithuanian parliament. Liberal Petras Auštrevičius has not made up his mind either, according to LRT.