Opposition challenges constitutionality of impeachment procedure

Constitutional Court of Lithuania
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Thirty-one conservative and liberal MPs signed a letter to the Constitutional Court, asking it to rule on whether the impeachment procedure outlined in the Seimas Statute is in line with the Constitution.

A provision in the Lithuanian Constitution says that a qualified parliamentary majority can remove an MP “for gross violation of the Constitution or breaking an oath”. Meanwhile the Seimas Statute specifies that an MP can be impeached only for violations committed during his or her term in office.

The appellants say this unjustifiably narrows down the constitutional provision.

This week, the opposition tried to call an extraordinary parliament session in order to impeach Labour Party MP Vytautas Gapšys who has been convicted of manipulating his party’s accounting books. However, the move failed when parliament voted down the proposed agenda for the sitting.

Gapšys argues that he must not be impeached, since the conviction concerns the period in 2005-2006, whereas he was elected to parliament in 2012.

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