The Council of Europe may adopt a resolution in December, stating that Lithuania fails to meet its international obligation by not implementing the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling on paving the way for Rolandas Paksas to stand as a candidate in elections.
Donatas Murauskas, a representative of the Lithuanian government, says the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers will discuss this issue on Dec. 4-6. “The implementation of the Paksas case will be publicly discussed during this sitting. And it’s very likely that a Committee of Ministers resolution against Lithuania will be proposed for the first time,” Murauskas, head of the Ministry of Justice’s Division of Representation at the European Court of Human Rights, told BNS Lithuania on Thursday. “It would constitute an international sanction, a political document meaning that Lithuania does not meet part of its international commitments arising from its Council of Europe membership. It would have a strong affect on Lithuania’s reputation,” the lawyer said.
Earlier in the day, a fresh attempt to lift a lifetime ban on Lithuania’s impeached former president Rolandas Paksas to run in elections, as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights, fell through. Seventy-eight members of the Seimas backed a constitutional amendment allowing an impeached person to stand in elections, 16 votes short of the necessary 94 for the vote to pass.
Fifteen lawmakers voted against the amendment and four abstained. A constitutional amendment must be voted on twice by the Seimas, with an interval of at least three months between the votes, and requires a two-thirds majority, or 94 votes, to be adopted. The Seimas several years ago tried to pass constitutional amendments that would have opened the way for Paksas to run in elections, but failed to muster enough votes. The latest amendment, submitted by the ruling bloc, would have allowed an impeached person to be elected president or a member of the Seimas ten years after his or her removal from office. The amendment was tabled to comply with the Strasbourg-based court’s 2011 ruling that the lifetime ban on Paksas to stand as a candidate in elections was disproportionate and ran counter to the European Convention on Human Rights.