CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
(Approved by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania
in the Referendum on 25 October 1992)
(as amended by 20 March 2003, No. IX-1379)
The most significant issues concerning the life of the State and the People shall be decided by referendum.
In the cases established by law, referendums shall be announced by the Seimas.
Referendums shall also be announced if no less than 300,000 of the electorate so request.
The procedure for the announcement and execution of a referendum shall be established by law.
Citizens who, on the day of election, are 18 years of age or over, shall have the right to vote in the election.
The right to be elected shall be established by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and by the election laws.
Citizens who are declared legally incapable by court shall not participate in elections.
Citizens shall be guaranteed the right to freely form societies, political parties, and associations, provided that the aims and activities thereof do not contradict the Constitution and laws. No person may be forced to belong to any society, political party, or association.
The founding and functioning of political parties and other political and public organisation shall be regulated by law.
The Seimas shall consist of representatives of the People. 141 Seimas members who shall be elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
The Seimas shall be deemed elected when at least three- fifths of the Seimas members have been elected.
The electoral procedure shall be established by law.
Any citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who is not bound by an oath or pledge to a foreign state, and who, on the election day, is 25 years of age or over and has permanently been residing in Lithuania, may be elected a Seimas member.
Persons who have not served their court imposed sentence, as well as persons declared legally incapable by court, may not be elected members of the Seimas.
Regular elections to the Seimas shall be held no earlier than 2 months, and no later than 1 month, prior to the expiration of the powers of the Seimas members.
Pre-term elections to the Seimas may be held on the decision of the Seimas adopted by three-fifths majority vote of all the Seimas members.
The President of the Republic of Lithuania may also announce pre- term elections to the Seimas:
1) if the Seimas fails to adopt a decision on the new programme of the Government within 30 days of its presentation, or if the Seimas twice in succession disapproves of the Government programme within 60 days of its initial presentation; or
2) on the proposal of the Government, if the Seimas expresses direct non-confidence in the Government.
The President of the Republic may not announce pre-term elections to the Seimas if the term of office of the President of the Republic expires within less than six months, or if six months have not passed since the pre-term elections to the Seimas.
The day of elections to the new Seimas shall be specified in the resolution of the Seimas or in the decree of the President of the Republic concerning the pre-term elections to the Seimas. The election to the new Seimas must be organised within three months from the adoption of the decision on the pre-term elections.
Any person who is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania by birth, who has lived in Lithuania for at least the past three years, who has reached the age of 40 prior to the election day, and who is eligible for election to Seimas member may be elected President of the Republic.
The President of the Republic shall be elected by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years.
The same person may not be elected President of the Republic of Lithuania for more than two consecutive terms.
Any citizen who meets the requirements set forth in Part 1 of Article 78 and has collected the signatures of at least 20,000 voters shall be registered as a presidential candidate.
The number of presidential candidates shall not be limited.
Regular presidential elections shall be held on the last Sunday two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President of the Republic.
The candidate for the post of President of the Republic who, during the first election round in which at least a half of the voters participate, receives the votes of more than half of all the voters who voted in the election, shall be deemed the elected candidate. If less than a half of the registered voters participate in the election, the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, but no less than one-third of votes of all the voters, shall be deemed the elected candidate.
If, during the first election round, no single candidate gets the requisite number of votes, a repeat election shall be organised after two weeks between the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes. The candidate who receives more votes thereafter shall be deemed elected.
If no more than two candidates take part in the first election round, and not one of them receives the requisite number of votes, a repeat election shall be held.
The President of the Republic shall:
1) settle basic foreign policy issues and, together with the Government, implement foreign policy;
2) sign international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania and submit them to the Seimas for ratification;
3) appoint or recall, upon the recommendation of the Government, diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania in foreign states and international organisations; receive letters of credence and recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign states; confer highest diplomatic ranks and special titles;
4) appoint, upon approval of the Seimas, the Prime Minister, charge him or her to form the Government, and approve its composition;
5) remove, upon approval of the Seimas, the Prime Minister from office;
6) accept the powers returned by the Government upon the election of a new Seimas, and charge it to continue exercising its functions until a new Government is formed;
7) accept resignations of the Government and, as necessary, charge it to continue exercising its functions or charge one of the Ministers to exercise the functions of the Prime Minister until a new Government is formed; accept resignations of individual Ministers and commission them to continue in office until a new Minister is appointed;
8) submit to the Seimas, upon the resignation of the Government or after it returns its powers and no later than within 15 days, the candidature of a new Prime Minister for consideration;
9) appoint or dismiss individual Ministers upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister;
10) appoint or dismiss, according to the established procedure, state officers provided by law;
11) propose Supreme Court judge candidates to the Seimas, and, upon the appointment of all the Supreme Court judges, recommend from among them the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to the Seimas; appoint, with the approval of the Seimas, Court of Appeals judges, and from among them - the Chairperson of the Court of Appeals; appoint judges and chairpersons of regional and district courts, and change their places of office; in cases provided by law, propose the dismissal from office of judges to the Seimas; appoint and dismiss from office Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania, with the consent of the Seimas;
12) propose to the Seimas the candidatures of three Constitutional Court judges, and, upon appointing all the judges of the Constitutional Court, propose, from among them, a candidate for Constitutional Court Chairperson to the Seimas;
13) propose to the Seimas candidates for State Controller and Chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania; if necessary, propose to the Seimas to express non-confidence in said officials;
14) appoint or dismiss, upon the approval of the Seimas, the chief commander of the Army and the head of the Security Service;
15) confer highest military ranks;
16) adopt, in the event of an armed attack which threatens State sovereignty or territorial integrity, decisions concerning defence against such armed aggression, the imposition of martial law, and mobilisation, and submit these decisions to the next sitting of the Seimas for approval;
17) declare states of emergency according to the procedures and situations established by law, and submit these decisions to the next sitting of the Seimas for approval;
18) make annual reports in the Seimas about the situation in Lithuania and the domestic and foreign policies of the Republic of Lithuania;
19) call, in cases provided in the Constitution, extraordinary sessions of the Seimas;
20) announce regular elections to the Seimas, and, in cases set forth in part 2 of Article 58 of the Constitution, announce pre- term elections to the Seimas;
21) grant citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania according to the procedure established by law;
22) confer State awards;
23) grant pardons to sentenced persons; and
24) sign and promulgate laws enacted by the Seimas or refer them back to the Seimas according to the procedure provided for in Article 71 of the Constitution.
When, in cases specified in part 2 of Article 58 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic announces pre- term elections to the Seimas, the newly-elected Seimas may, by three- fifths majority vote of all the Seimas members and within 30 days of the first sitting, announce a pre-term election of the President of the Republic.
If the President of the Republic wishes to compete in the election, he or she shall immediately be registered as a candidate.
If the President of the Republic is re-elected in such an election, he or she shall be deemed elected for a second term, provided that more than three years of the first term had expired prior to the election. If the expired period of the first term is less than three years, the President of the Republic shall only be elected for the remainder of the first term, which shall not be considered a second term.
If a pre-term election for the President of the Republic is announced during the President's second term, the current President of the Republic may only be elected for the remainder of the second term.
In the event that the President dies or is removed from office according to impeachment proceedings, or if the Seimas resolves that the President of the Republic is unable to fulfil the duties of office for reasons of health, the duties of President shall temporarily be passed over to the Seimas Chairperson. In such a case, the Chairperson of the Seimas shall lose his or her powers in the Seimas, and at the behest of the Seimas, the duties of Chairperson shall temporarily be carried out by the Assistant Chairperson. In said cases, the Seimas shall announce, within 10 days, an election for the President of the Republic which must be held within two months. If the Seimas cannot convene and announce the election for the President of the Republic, the election shall be announced by the Government.
The Chairperson of the Seimas shall act for the President of the Republic when the President is temporarily absent beyond the boundaries of the country or has fallen ill and by reason thereof is temporarily unable to fulfil the duties of office.
While temporarily acting for the President of the Republic, the Chairperson of the Seimas may neither announce pre-term elections of the Seimas nor dismiss or appoint Ministers without the agreement of the Seimas. During the said period, the Seimas may not consider the issue of lack of confidence in the Chairperson of the Seimas.
The powers of the President of the Republic may not be executed in any other cases, or by any other persons or institutions.
The Government, no less than one-fifth of the members of the Seimas, and the courts shall have the right to address the Constitutional Court concerning legal acts specified in part 1 of Article 105.
No less than one-fifth of the members of the Seimas and the courts shall have the right to address the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of acts of the President with the Constitution and the laws.
No less than one-fifth of the members of the Seimas, the courts, and the President of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to address the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of an act of the Government with the Constitution and the laws.
Upon the proposal of the President or the decision of the Seimas to investigate the conformity of an act with the Constitution, the applicability of the act shall be suspended.
The Seimas may request a conclusion from the Constitutional Court, and in cases concerning Seimas elections and international agreements, the President of the Republic of Lithuania may also request a conclusion. The Constitutional Court shall have the right to refuse to accept cases for investigation or to prepare conclusions if the appeal is not based on legal motives.
Administrative units provided by law on State territory shall be entitled to the right of elf-government. This right shall be implemented through local government Councils.
Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and other permanent residents of an administrative unit shall be elected according to the law to local government Councils for a four-year term on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and other residents of the administrative unit.
The procedure for the organisation and activities of self- government institutions shall be established by law.
Local government Councils shall form executive bodies which are accountable to them for the direct implementation of the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and the decisions of the Government and the local government Council.
In order to amend or append the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, a proposal must be submitted to the Seimas by either no less than one-fourth of the members of the Seimas, or by at least 300,000 voters.
During a state of emergency or martial law, amendments to the Constitution may not be made.
The provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that the State of Lithuania is an independent democratic republic may only be amended by a referendum in which at least three- fourths of the electorate of Lithuania vote in favour thereof.
The provisions of Chapter 1 ("The State of Lithuania") and Chapter 14 ("Amending the Constitution") may be amended only by referendum.
Amendments of other chapters of the Constitution must be considered and voted upon in the Seimas twice. There must be a lapse of at least three months between each vote. Bills for constitutional amendments shall be deemed adopted by the Seimas if, in each of the votes, at least two-thirds of all the members of the Seimas vote in favour of the enactment.
An amendment to the Constitution which is rejected by the Seimas may not be submitted to the Seimas for reconsideration for the period of one year.