In Lithuania, parliament passes constitutional amendments allowing direct mayoral elections, lowering age of parliamentary candidature, and lifting ban on impeached people running for office

By Jūratė Skėrytė, Ignas Jačauskas, BNS, 22 April
Flag of Lithuania (photo credit: David_Peterson via pixabay)
Flag of Lithuania (photo credit: David_Peterson via pixabay)
The Lithuanian parliament [...] amended the Constitution, authorising direct mayoral elections, lowering the minimum age for standing as a candidate to the parliament [from 25 to 21], and allowing an impeached person to run for office. [...] Lithuania introduced direct mayoral elections in 2014, but the Constitution Court ruled a year ago that mayors cannot be elected by direct popular vote unless the Constitution is amended. Until now, the Constitution only provided for the direct election of municipal councils. [...] The Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen initiated the constitutional amendment [on lowering the age of parliamentary candidature] during the previous parliamentary term. [...] According to Čmilytė-Nielsen, 25 years is the highest minimum age for parliament members in the EU, and, besides Lithuania, this age threshold is in place only in Italy, Greece, and Cyprus. [...] Moreover, the Lithuanian parliament [...] amended the Constitution to allow an impeached person to run for president or national parliament ten years after removal from office. [...] Lithuania had to amend the Constitution to implement the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling of 2011 that the lifetime ban on [former President Rolandas Paksas] to stand for parliament was disproportionate and ran counter to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Read the full article here: LRT English


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