Lithuanian Election Commission refuses to register Rolandas Paksas as Presidential Candidate

The Lithuanian Central Election Commission has decided not to register former President Rolandas Paksas as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election. As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, the decision was announced Wednesday by the chairman of the commission, Zenonas Vaigauskas.

The move comes in the wake of a decision by the Lithuanian parliament forbidding persons removed from government posts or deprived of parliamentary mandates as the result of impeachment to run for president for a period of five years. A revised version of the legislation on elections proposed by parliamentary conservatives was approved by the ruling social-democrats and social-liberals, and was approved likewise by the head of the Social-Democratic Party, Algirdas Brazauskas.

The pro-president party of liberal-democrats said it intended to contest the parliamentary decision in the Constitutional Court. However, the party's petition will be included in a long list of issues before the Constitutional Court, and will not likely be heard soon.

Deputies supporting the revision said they considered the new election legislation to be in compliance with the country's constitution, and it was duly signed yesterday by interim President Arturas Paulauskas.

To date only one presidential candidate, a representative of the Social-Democratic Party and current chairman of the Sejm, Cheslovas Yurshenas, has been officially registered.

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