Parlt needs possibility to work remotely, speaker of Lithuania's Seimas says

  • 2020-03-30
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Seimas of Lithuania needs to have a possibility to adopt laws and other legislation remotely in case of an emergency situation, Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis says.

"We have consulted a number of lawyers on ways to allow the Seimas to make decisions remotely. It’s very important," the speaker said during a live Facebook video broadcast on Monday.

"Let's say if a majority of Seimas members need to isolate, how then we could have a quorum as the Seimas needs to have a quorum, especially when adopting laws as it needs at least 71 voters," he said.

Pranckietis hopes the parliament will adopt necessary changes to the Statute of the Seimas.

The Lithuanian parliament is set to hold a non-plenary sitting. The aforementioned bill is not on its agenda but the Board of the Seimas, holding a sitting on Monday afternoon, might update the agenda.

Currently, the Board of the Seimas and parliamentary committees and commissions can hold remote sitting.

"Just imagine, there are now 60 percent of people over 60 in the Seimas, and that's a risk group. Plus, if we have underlying health issues, more than half of the Seimas fall into the risk group. The Seimas would just not be able to convene, if could not make decisions remotely," Pranckietis said on Monday.

In his words, constitutional law experts do not object to the parliament' remote operation as well as "the Constitution does not state how the Seimas should adopt decisions".

Lithuania was placed under quarantine on March 16 due to the spread of the new coronavirus, and an emergency situation was declared before that.