Lithuania's Parliament turns down amendment

  • 2004-11-10
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - After a second consideration on Nov. 11, Lithuania's Parliament failed to approve an amendment to Article 56 of the constitution, which could have opened the door for impeached ex-president Rolandas Paksas to return to power in five years.

Parliament voted 5 against 41 on the issue, with 20 abstentions. Ceslovas Jursenas, who presided over the meeting, said, however, that the amendment could be presented again in a year.

The amendment bans a person removed from office by impeachment from running for Parliament for five years.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court stated that a politician impeached for severely violating the constitution and the oath of office, could never run for Parliament, the presidential post, or any other state office involving an oath.

Before the court's ruling, Parliament managed to pass the amendment. However, in order for the law to come into effect, Parliament had to approve it by a second vote.

Paksas was impeached as president in April this year for gross violations of the constitution and his oath of office.