Paksas vindicated by European Court

  • 2011-01-07
  • TBT Staff

Paksas, an MEP, said he will return to Lithuania to take part in the next presidential elections. (photo: Andrius Mie┼żelis)

VILNIUS - The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of impeached Lithuanian President Rolands Paksas in a non-binding but highly influencial decision.

The ECHR found that Lithuania was wrong to bar Paksas from competing in the next presidential elections, saying that the decision to do so was disproportional, "permanent and irreversable".

"The decision to bar a senior official who has proved unfit for office from ever being a member of parliament in future is above all a matter for voters, who have the opportunity to choose at the polls whether to renew their trust in the person concerned,” reads the court ruling.

Paksas, who currently works as a euro MP, hailed the victory, saying that he now plans to return to Lithuania to run for president in 2012.

"I will [run] for the 2012 Seimas elections, and our party will win,” he said.

In the 2004 ruling that resulted in Paksas' impeachment, the constitutional court found that he had illegally arranged Lithuanian citizenship for Russia-born businessman Yuri Borisov.