Parliament endorses resolution blaming Constitutional Court for violating rights of impeached president Paksas

Rolandas Paksas
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

In its resolution, the Commission blamed the “insidious practices” of Lithuania’s Constitutional Court which had banned Paksas from ever running for elected office again.

Paksas was impeached and removed from the presidency in 2004 for grave violations of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court later ruled that Paksas would not be allowed to hold any public office that required giving an oath. Paksas challenged the decision at the ECtHR, which ruled in 2011 that the life-long ban was excessive.

The ad hoc commission at the Lithuanian parliament probed why the ECtHR ruling in the case “Paksas against Lithuania” had not been implemented. It claimed that the reasons behind this were the “insidious practices” of the Constitutional Court whose institutional acts it claimed were limiting the rights of the legislature and its assumed powers and prerogatives, and that it said were not defined in the Law on the Constitutional Court.

According to the ad hoc commission, the state is obliged to grant effective remedies to Paksas and to revise the life-long ban preventing him from participating in presidential elections or holding the positions of prime minister or minister.

The commission suggested that the Seimas review the provisions of the Law on the Constitutional Court and define anew its place in the country’s governance system.

The Commission has also put forward proposals to reassess the legal regulation of the impeachment process and to establish a body that would review impeachment decisions.

The Commission’s findings also state that the Seimas have the power to reinstate former president Paksas’ civic and political rights if three-fifths of all MPs support the motion. It said the Seimas can also decide how long the sanction against Paksas to participate in parliamentary elections may apply.

The commission, headed by Kęstas Komskis of Paksas’ own Order and Justice party, began its work in spring 2014 and presented its conclusions the following autumn. However, the conclusions only reached the Seimas now and was endorsed in a vote of 61 to 27, with 15 abstentions.

Last week, the Seimas failed to adopt amendments that would have limited sanctions for impeached officials to 10 years.

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