The Seimas adopted amendments to the Referendum Law (draft No XIIIP-2559(2)), specifying the provisions for the procedure for organising a referendum, a referendum campaign, and vote counting; increasing the number of polling stations abroad; and providing for payment of salaries to members of voting commissions. According to the amended Law, the services of the public enterprise Lietuvos paštas (Lithuanian Post) will no longer be used and the postal functions will instead be entrusted to members of voting commissions and courier companies.
With regard to the fact that the Central Electoral Commission cannot engage an agitation campaign; the amendments stipulate that the Seimas may designate the Government or its authorised institution to inform the public on the national significance of a referendum question.
The amendments to the Law also specify the concept of outdoor political advertising, which is defined as political advertising publicly disseminated by video or audio means. Under the new provisions, political advertising communicated in public places, buildings, and means of transport shall also be regarded as outdoor political advertising.
In addition, the amendments tighten the requirements for the reputation of members of referendum committees. The amended Law stipulates that only Lithuanian citizens of impeccable reputation can be nominated for a referendum committee.
Finally, the amendments provide for more voting sites abroad offering additional polling stations at diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Republic of Lithuania. The decision on the eligibility of other voting sites abroad for conducting a referendum will be taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in agreement with the Central Electoral Commission.
The amendments were adopted by 65 votes in favour, with 2 votes against and 18 abstentions.