Version valid from 14 May 2015

 

REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

LAW ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

 

22 December 1992   No I-28

Vilnius

 

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 1. Basis for Election of the President of the Republic

Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania shall elect the President of the Republic for a five-year term on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage and by secret ballot.

 

Article 2. Right to Stand as a Candidate for President of the Republic

1. 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, provided he has reached the age of 40 prior to polling day, and is eligible for election as member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter: 'Seimas member') may be elected President of the Republic.

2. A person who has grossly violated the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter: 'the Constitution') or broken the oath and who has been removed from office or his mandate of the Seimas member has been revoked by the Seimas in accordance with impeachment proceedings, may not be elected President of the Republic.

3. The same person may be elected President of the Republic for not more than two consecutive terms.

 

Article 3. Information about Relations with Foreign Special Services (Structures)

1. After the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter: 'the Central Electoral Commission') has adopted a decision to issue forms for the collection of voter signatures to an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic, he must, before he is registered as a candidate for President of the Republic, submit to the Central Electoral Commission the information about his work with the NKVD, NKGB, MGB, KGB of the USSR or the former Soviet republics as well as with other corresponding services (structures) of other foreign states, studying at schools of the said services (structures) or about collaboration with the said services (structures). An individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic shall enter this information into a questionnaire. It must specify the name and subordination of the service (structure), individual’s position, rank and functions, time and place of work or studies, awards. The Central Electoral Commission shall set out the format of a questionnaire. Data contained in the questionnaire shall be available to the public. If an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic indicates in a questionnaire the information specified in the present paragraph of this Article, the Central Electoral Commission must make public such questionnaire within 24 hours after its submission.

2. If an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic has not submitted to the Central Electoral Commission a filled-in questionnaire prior to the registration as a candidate for President of the Republic, the Central Electoral Commission shall make public this fact not later than within 24 hours after his registration as a candidate for President of the Republic.

3. A candidate for President of the Republic must announce in his every video or audio election campaign material about his work, studying or collaboration with the services (structures) specified in paragraph 1 of this Article.

4. If the Central Electoral Commission receives written information that the data provided in a questionnaire are wrongful, concealed or that a filled-in questionnaire has not been submitted, as well as that an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic or a candidate for President of the Republic worked, studied in the services (structures) specified in paragraph 1 of this Article or collaborated with them and establishes that the related data are not included in a questionnaire, it must within 48 hours notify the individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic or the candidate for President of the Republic about the received information and offer him to provide explanations.

5. If an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic or a candidate for President of the Republic agrees to the information received by the Central Electoral Commission, he must immediately enter additionally this information on his questionnaire and, in the event the questionnaire has not been filled in, he must fill it in and enter the indicated information thereon. The Central Electoral Commission must, not later than within 24 hours, make public this information.

6. If an individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic or a candidate for President of the Republic does not agree to the information received by the Central Electoral Commission, does not arrive at the Central Electoral Commission when invited or refuses to provide explanations regarding the received information, the Central Electoral Commission may, when necessary, approach the persons who provided the said information as well as other institutions or organisations, requesting to provide additional data or documents.

7. Having considered the received information, the Central Electoral Commission must take one of the following decisions:

1) to declare the received information groundless;

2) to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania with an application to establish a fact that the individual who nominates himself or is nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic or the candidate for President of the Republic has included in the questionnaire the wrongful data about his work, studying in the services (structures) specified in paragraph 1 of this Article or collaboration with them, or has concealed these data.

8. In all cases the Central Electoral Commission must, not later than within five working days from receipt of the information, take a decision and make it public within 24 hours from its adoption.

9. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania shall consider the application of the Central Electoral Commission within 72 hours and take a decision. This decision shall become effective from the date of its pronouncement.

10. The Central Electoral Commission shall within 24 hours make public the effective decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

11. If the Central Electoral Commission receives the information specified in paragraph 1 of this Article later than 12 days left before an election, a candidate for President of the Republic shall not be notified about this information and the Central Electoral Commission shall not consider it.

12. The Central Electoral Commission may make public the fact established by the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania not later than 72 hours left before the beginning of voting.

 

Article 4. Universal Suffrage

1. Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who are 18 years of age or older on polling day shall have the right to vote for a President of the Republic. Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who have been declared legally incapable by the court shall not participate in an election.

2. Any direct or indirect abridgement of the right of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania to vote on the grounds of their sex, race, nationality, language, descent, social status, religion, convictions, or views shall be prohibited.

 

Article 5. Equal Suffrage

Every citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who has the right to vote for a President of the Republic shall have one vote in an election.

 

Article 6. Direct Election of the President of the Republic

Voters shall elect President of the Republic without mediators.

 

Article 7. Secret Ballot

Voters shall vote in person and by secret ballot. It shall be prohibited to control the will of voters in an election.

 

Article 8. Prohibition to Bribe Voters and Persons Eligible to Vote

1. During the political campaign of presidential election, i.e. from the announcement of a date of presidential election until the end of election campaign as set out by this Law as well as on polling day it shall be prohibited to directly or indirectly buy votes, to induce by offering gifts or other rewards a voter or a person eligible to vote to attend or not to attend presidential election and (or) to vote for or against one or another person to be nominated, a candidate for President of the Republic, as well as to promise to reward voters for voting after an election with the purpose to affect the will of citizens regarding particular candidates for President of the Republic and thus hinder citizens from implementing their right to elect President of the Republic.

2. Production or distribution free of charge to voters of the printed matter (a programme, biography of a person to be nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic, a candidate for President of the Republic, or other leaflets, calendars, postcards, stickers of information character) and things of minor significance (the price of which does not exceed EUR 1.45) marked with the symbols of the candidate or the party which nominated him and declared with the Central Electoral Commission in accordance with the procedure laid down by it and intended for propagating a person to be nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic, a political party (hereinafter: 'party') who has nominated a candidate for President of the Republic or a candidate for President of the Republic shall not be considered as bribery of voters.

3. Municipal electoral committees shall, in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission, examine the facts of bribery of voters or persons eligible to vote and the Central Electoral Commission shall evaluate such facts. The Central Electoral Commission shall make public the established facts of bribery on its website together with a pledge of the candidate for President of the Republic who has violated this Article to adhere to the prohibition to bribe voters or persons eligible to vote. After the recognition of the facts of bribery as a grave violation of this Law, the consequences defined in this Law and other laws shall arise.

 

Article 9. Openness of Preparation and Conduct of an Election

1. State institutions and electoral committees shall publicly prepare and conduct an election of the President of the Republic. Public notice must be given of the events (meetings, sittings) related to the organisation of an election at least 12 hours prior to the commencement of the event (meeting, sitting).

2. Electoral committees shall inform citizens about their work, the formation of polling districts, the composition of the electoral committees, their location and business hours, the electoral rolls, the results of candidate registration to the post of President of the Republic; and the voting and election results.

3. The mass media shall inform the public about the organisation and the course of presidential election.

4. Representatives of all mass media shall have the right to unrestricted participation in all events organised by the electoral committees, attendance of all sittings of the electoral committee as well as the acquisition of information from the electoral committees concerning the organisation and the course of presidential election.

 

Article 10. Expenditure Related to the Preparation and Conduct of an Election

Expenses related to the preparation and conduct of an election of the President of the Republic shall be covered by the State and local authorities. The expenditure of electoral committees related to the organisation and conduct of an election shall be covered and the work of voting commission members and service staff shall be paid from the state budget. Maintenance of offices and polling stations of electoral committees of municipalities and polling districts, expenditures related to acquisition and keeping of the equipment of polling stations shall be paid with municipal funds. If a municipality fails to provide adequate premises and supplies for the office of a polling district and a polling station, state funds shall be used for this purpose by the decision of the Central Electoral Commission.  In this event the actual expenses relating to polling stations and equipment shall, within two months after the election of the President of the Republic, be exacted without suit by the Central Electoral Commission from the local authority. Expenses related to transporting voters to polling districts to vote where this is organised in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission shall be paid from the state and municipal budgets.

 

SECTION II

ORGANISATION OF AN ELECTION

 

Article 11. Formation of Polling Districts

1. With a view of making it more convenient for voters to reach a polling station and with account of the number of voters, the territories of municipalities shall be divided into polling districts.

2. The division of the territory of a municipality into polling districts shall be approved and changed by the Central Electoral Commission on the recommendation of the director of the municipal administration. The list of the approved polling districts and the amendments thereof shall be published by the Central Electoral Commission on its website.

3. No more than 5 000 voters must reside within the territory of a polling district.

4. The boundaries of a polling district shall be adjusted and the address of a polling station shall be changed when necessary, but no later than 100 days before an election. In his recommendation to approve the division of the territory of a municipality into polling districts, the municipal administration director shall specify the proposed name of a polling district, the addresses which are within a polling district, the number of voters in a polling district which is being formed, the address and telephone number of a polling station. The recommendation on changes in the division of the territory of a municipality into polling districts shall specify the proposed changes. No later than 100 prior to an election the director of the municipal administration shall also inform the Central Electoral Commission about new addresses, changed addresses or addresses which are no longer existent as well as approve the addresses and telephone numbers of the polling stations. The director of the municipal administration shall submit the proposals and recommendations provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article and in this paragraph to the Central Electoral Commission in accordance with the procedure laid down by it.

5. When an early election of the President of the Republic under Article 87 of the Constitution or an election of the President of the Republic under Article 89(1) of the Constitution is held within two months from the announcement of an election date, the Central Electoral Commission may change the boundaries of polling districts and the addresses of polling stations not later than 50 days before an election. If the said election is held earlier than within two months from the announcement of an election date, the boundaries of polling districts shall not be changed.

 

Article 12. Electoral Commission and Electoral Committees

1. Elections of the President of the Republic shall be organised and conducted by:

1) the Central Electoral Commission;

2) municipal electoral committees; and

3) polling district committees.

2. Members of electoral committees may not be candidates for President of the Republic or agents of such candidates.

3.  A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who is of good repute, has the right to be elected as Seimas member (without taking into consideration the minimum age limit set for a candidate for Seimas member, but who is not younger than 18 years of age on polling day), has the higher education and has not been removed from an electoral committee during the last three years for the violations of election laws or the Law on Referendum may be proposed to an electoral committee. The requirement to have higher education shall not apply to a member of an polling district committee, the chairman of a polling district committee who has the experience of working as an electoral committee member or chairman; the said requirement shall not apply to a member or chairman of a municipal electoral committee who has the experience of working as a member or chairman of a municipal electoral committee. The Central Electoral Commission shall, in accordance with the procedure laid down by it, organise trainings for members and chairmen of electoral committees.

4. A person shall not be considered of good repute if:

1) he has been found guilty, by an effective judgment of conviction, of a criminal act and his prior conviction has not expired yet or has not been expunged;

2) he has been dismissed from the appointive or elective office because he broke the oath or promise, degraded the name of the officer and less than three years have elapsed since the date of the dismissal or entry into force of a decision to revoke the mandate;

3) he has been dismissed from work, from the office or has lost the right to engage in the relevant activity for non-compliance with the requirement of good repute set out in laws and for breach of ethics laid down in legal acts, and less than three years have elapsed since the dismissal from work, from the office or loss of the right to engage in the relevant activity;

4) he is a member of an organisation which is prohibited in accordance with the procedure laid down by the law.

 

Article 13. Formation of Municipal Electoral Committees

1. The Central Electoral Commission shall, for the period of an election, form municipal electoral committees not later than 74 days in advance of an election.

2. Municipal electoral committees shall comprise:

1) a person nominated by the Minister of Justice, having a higher education degree in law, who resides or works in the territory of that municipality;

2) persons nominated by the Lithuanian Lawyers’ Association, having a higher education degree in law, who reside or work in the territory of that municipality;

3) one career civil servant who works in the administration of that municipality and who is nominated by the director of the administration of that municipality;

4) persons nominated by parties which have received the mandates of the Seimas member in the multi-member constituency.

3. The Minister of Justice, the Lithuanian Lawyers’ Association and the directors of the municipal administrations may propose more candidates.

4. Parties which have received the mandates of the Seimas member in the multi-member constituency according to the list (joint list) of candidates shall each have the right to nominate one representative to municipal electoral committees from one list of candidates nominated in this constituency. If the representatives meet the requirements of this Law, the Central Electoral Commission may not reject the said candidates. In the event that candidates for membership have not been proposed, the Central Electoral Commission may additionally appoint as members of municipal electoral committees the candidates proposed by the Minister of Justice, the Lithuanian Lawyers’ Association or the director of the municipal administration.

5. In all cases, at least three committee members must be the persons appointed to municipal electoral committees from the candidates proposed by the Minister of Justice, the Lithuanian Lawyers’ Association and the director of the municipal administration. If these people make up less than three members of the committee, the committee shall be enlarged from the persons proposed by the Minister of Justice or the Lithuanian Lawyers’ Association, or the director of municipal administration.

6. If an election to the office of President of the Republic and to the Seimas or to municipal councils, or to the European Parliament, or a referendum are concurrently held on the same day, the same polling district committees or referendum committees shall be formed. The Central Electoral Commission shall form a single – municipal electoral, constituency electoral or referendum – commission on a separate electoral or referendum territory and shall define its functions in organising and carrying out other elections or referendum.

7. The Central Electoral Commission shall appoint chairman of a municipal electoral committee from the committee members. A person who has got experience of working as the chairman or member of the Central Electoral Commission or a municipal electoral committee, or a constituency electoral committee or who has got experience of working as the chairman of a polling district committee shall be appointed as the chairman of a municipal electoral committee.

8. During its first meeting, a municipal electoral committee shall elect a deputy chairman and a secretary of the committee.

9. When an early election of the President of the Republic under Article 87 of the Constitution or an election of the President of the Republic under Article 89(1) of the Constitution is held within two months from the announcement of the election date, the Central Electoral Commission shall, not later than 50 days left to an election, set up municipal electoral committees. If the said election is held earlier than within two months from the announcement of the election date, such fifty-day time limit shall be reduced by the number of days lacking to constitute a two-month time limit.

 

Article 14. Powers of Municipal Electoral Committees

A municipal electoral committee shall:

1) in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission, inform  the voters residing within the municipality about the  boundaries of polling districts, offices of the electoral committees, working hours and polling stations;

2) supervise the implementation of this Law in the municipality;

3) form polling district committees;

4) within the limits of the estimate of the municipal electoral committee approved by the Central Electoral Commission, approve estimates of expenses of polling district committee and control the use of funds assigned in these estimates;

5) register election observers and issue certificates to them;

6) make up a list of health care (except out-patient) facilities, social care institutions, military units, arrest houses, remand prisons (detention facilities) and penitentiary institutions situated in the territory of a municipality, and together with the head of the post office have care of the organisation of postal voting in those places, as well as organise early voting;

7) draw up a vote counting record, establish voting results and transfer them for approval to the Central Electoral Commission;

8) consider complaints against decisions and actions of the polling district committees and adopt decisions concerning them; and

9) in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission, conduct monitoring of political advertising on the territory of a municipality during the election campaign and submit the monitoring data to the Central Electoral Commission;

10) exercise other powers provided for in this Law.

 

Article 15. Formation of Polling District Committees

1. No later than 65 days prior to an election, a municipal electoral committee shall set the number of members of an electoral committee of each polling district that must be a multiple of the number of the parties having the right to nominate candidates to electoral committees. If the number of nominated candidates is insufficient or there is a vacancy in the committee, the director of the administration of the municipality on the territory of which the polling district is formed may nominate lacking candidates.

2. The following shall have the right to propose an equal number of candidates to a polling district committee:

1) each party or coalition of the parties which received the mandates of the Seimas member in a multi-member constituency during the last election to the Seimas. If a party received the mandates of the Seimas member while in a coalition, it may nominate candidates together with the parties of the coalition;

2) a party or a coalition of the parties which received the mandates of the municipal councillor from the list of nominated candidates (joint list) in the election to a municipal council. If a party received the mandates of the municipal councillor while in the coalition, it may nominate candidates together with the parties of the coalition.

3. If a party may nominate candidates on the basis of the results of both the election to the Seimas and the municipal election, it shall, at choice, nominate candidates on the basis of the results of only one of these elections. If one of the parties which have participated in the election coalition does not nominate candidates or refuses to nominate them, or chooses to nominate candidates according to the results of the elections other than those for which the coalition was formed, other parties which have participated in this coalition shall have the right to nominate candidates in its absence.

4. Parties shall submit their lists of candidates to a municipal electoral committee no later than 48 days prior to an election.

5. Polling district committees shall, for the period of an election, be formed by municipal electoral committees no later than 45 days before an election. If a candidate nominated by the party meets the requirements of this Law, the municipal electoral committee may not turn him down.

6. If no candidates have been nominated or the nominated candidates do not meet the requirements of this Law, or they have been nominated after the expiration of the set time limit, a municipal electoral committee may decrease the earlier fixed number of members of a polling district committee or address the director of the municipal administration to nominate the lacking number of candidates for the polling district committee. Persons proposed by the director of the municipal administration may not be or become members of the parties prior to the expiration of the powers of the electoral commission member. If at the meeting where a member of the polling district committee is appointed at least three members of the municipal electoral committee object to the appointment of the person nominated by the director of the municipal administration, that person may not be appointed a committee member.

7. Chairmen of polling district committees shall be appointed from among the committee members by municipal electoral committees. A person who has got the experience of working as the chairman or a member of an electoral committee or a person who has higher education shall be appointed as the chairman of a polling district committee.

8. During its first meeting a polling district committee shall elect a deputy chairman and a secretary of the committee.

9. When an early election of the President of the Republic under Article 87 of the Constitution or an election of the President of the Republic under Article 89(1) of the Constitution is held within two months from the announcement of an election date, municipal electoral committees shall, not later than 45 days before an election, establish the number of members of each polling district committee. Parties shall submit to municipal electoral committees the lists of candidates for members of polling district committees no later than 42 days prior to an election. Polling district committees shall be set up not later than 40 days left to an election. An electoral committee member who does not give a written pledge longer than seven days after the appointment or who gives a written pledge with the reservation, shall lose his powers in the electoral committee. If an early election of the President of the Republic under Article 87 of the Constitution or an election of the President of the Republic under Article 89(1) of the Constitution is held earlier than within two months from the announcement of an election date, the forty-day, forty-two-day and forty-five-day time limits specified in this paragraph shall be reduced by the number of days lacking to constitute a two-month time limit.

 

Article 16. Powers of Polling District Committees

A polling district committee shall:

1) receive electoral rolls of the polling district from the municipal electoral committee, provide voters, representatives for the election with access to such rolls, hand poll cards to voters or distribute them in some other manner, inform the municipal electoral committee about inaccuracies noticed in the electoral roll of the polling district and transmit these data by electronic means in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission;

2) consider complaints concerning errors made in the electoral roll of the polling district;

3) in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission, supervise the course of voting by post on the territory of the polling district and monitor the provision of opportunities for voting by post in all health care (except out-patient) facilities, social care institutions, military units, arrest houses, remand prisons (detention facilities) and penitentiary institutions situated within the territory of the polling district as well as organise voting at home;

4) together with a representative of the municipal administration, take care of the arrangement of polling stations, polling booths and ballot boxes in due time pursuant to the requirements laid down in this Law;

5) organise voting in the polling district on polling day;

6) count votes, draw up a vote counting record of the polling district and transmit the data of this record electronically in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Electoral Commission;

7) consider complaints of the voters and observers of its polling district on issues concerning the preparation of an election, organising of voting, vote counting, drawing-up of vote counting records and take decisions related thereto; and

8) exercise other powers provided for in this Law.