VILNIUS – The leaders of all political groups in the Lithuanian parliament agree that the Constitution needs to be changed to allow direct mayoral elections and will themselves draft the necessary amendment, the speaker of the Seimas said on Wednesday.
"The heads of all groups agreed that we should amend the Constitution in the Seimas," Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen told reporters after meeting with the leaders of all parliamentary groups.
"We also agreed to meet next week and work out proposals for amending the Constitution," she added.
Cmilyte-Nielsen said she expected the constitutional amendment to be drafted by June and passed in early 2022.
The Constitution Court has ruled recently that mayors cannot be elected by direct popular vote unless the Constitution is amended.
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.
Lithuania has held direct mayoral elections twice since the rules were changed in 2015. Before that, mayors were elected by municipal councils.