Old website version during the term of office of acting President Artūras Paulauskas (2004 04 06-2004 07 12)

Lietuviškai
Presidential Activities
Speeches and Statements
Press Releases
The President
Biography
Office of the President
Legal Framework
Presidential Palace
History
Virtual Tour

Legal Framework

"The President of the Republic is the head of State. The President shall represent the State of Lithuania and shall perform all the duties, which he or she is charged with by the Constitution and laws."
Article 77 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

1. Election of the President
    1.1. Who may be elected President of the Republic of Lithuania?
    1.2. Organisation of presidential elections
    1.3. Nomination of candidates to the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania
    1.4. Registration of candidates to the Office of the President
    1.5. Election campaign
    1.6. Voting
    1.7. Election results
    1.8. Inauguration of the President
2. Powers of the President
    2.1. Powers in the field of foreign policy
    2.2. Relations between the President and the Seimas
    2.3. Relations between the President and the Government
    2.4. Legislative powers
    2.5. Right to apply to the Constitutional Court
    2.6. Power to appoint judges
    2.7. Powers in the field of national defence
    2.8. Power to declare the state of emergency
    2.9. Power to appoint and dismiss public officers
    2.10. Power to award citizenship
    2.11. Power to grant pardons
    2.12. Power to award state decorations
    2.13. Other presidential powers
3. Presidential decrees
4. President pro tempore
5. Termination of presidential powers
    5.1. Early elections of the President
    5.2. Impeachment
6. Immunity of the President
7. Symbols of the President
8. Household of the President
    8.1. Presidential residence

Back to index

1. Election of the President
The President of the Republic of Lithuania is 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.

Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who, on the day of election of the President, are 18 years of age or over have the right to elect the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Citizens who are declared legally incapable by court do not participate in elections.

Other direct or indirect abridgement of the right to vote of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, religion, political or other opinion is prohibited.

Back to index

1.1. Who may be elected President of the Republic of Lithuania?

Any person, who is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania by birth, who has lived in Lithuania for no less than the past three years, who has reached the age of 40 prior to the election day, and who is eligible for election to the Seimas, may be elected President of the Republic. The latter requirement means that persons who have sworn an oath of allegiance to a foreign state, or have not served a court-imposed sentence, or who have been declared incapable by court may not be elected President of the Republic.

The same person may be elected President of the Republic of Lithuania for no more than two consecutive terms.

Back to index

1.2. Organisation of presidential elections

Elections of the President of the Republic of Lithuania are announced by the Seimas, which adopts a respective resolution. Regular presidential elections are held on the last Sunday two months prior to the expiration of the term of office of President of the Republic. Presidential elections are organised and conducted by the Central Electoral Committee and city and regional electoral committees set up by it.

The expenses related to the organisation and execution of the elections of the President of the Republic are covered by the State.

Back to index

1.3. Nomination of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic of Lithuania

Nomination of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic must be declared no earlier than 80 days and no later than 65 days prior to the day of elections.

Individual persons may nominate themselves to the Office of President of the Republic. Political parties and political organisations may nominate and support candidates to the Office of President of the Republic.

Individuals who have been nominated or who have nominated themselves to the Office of President of the Republic must present this decision of theirs in writing to the Central Electoral Committee no later than 65 days prior to the day of elections. If an individual is nominated by a political party or political organisation to the Office of President of the Republic, this decision of theirs must also be presented in writing. Documents confirming the identity of the candidate must also be submitted and a deposit equalling five average monthly salaries must be paid. The Central Electoral Committee issues forms for the collection of voters' signatures. Having collected twenty thousand voter signatures, as provided in Article 79 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the total deposit is refunded to the individual who has paid it.

Back to index

1.4. Registration of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic

Individuals who have been nominated or who have nominated themselves as candidates to the Office of President of the Republic acquire the status of a candidate to the office of President of the Republic upon their registration as candidates to the Office of President of the Republic with the Central Electoral Committee. The number of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic is not limited.

At least 45 days prior to the day of elections, candidates to the Office of President of the Republic must submit voter signature collection forms containing at least twenty thousand voter signatures to the Central Electoral Committee which issued the said forms. Candidates must also submit a copy of tax return approved by the State Tax Inspectorate.

No later than 30 days prior to the day of elections, the Central Electoral Committee officially announces the list of all individuals who have been registered as candidates to the Office of President of the Republic and issues certificates of candidacy to the Office of President of the Republic no later than within 24 hours of the announcement thereof.

Back to index

1.5. Election campaign

Election campaign starts from the day of official announcement of the list of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic.

After official announcement of the list of candidates to the Office of President of the Republic, all candidates have equal opportunity to address meetings of voters and other gatherings, to use public mass media for the purpose of campaigning and announcement of their election programme.

Campaigning is prohibited during the 30 hours prior to the commencement of elections and on the day of elections, except for campaign posters, which were fixed in public places no later than 48 hours prior to the commencement of elections.

Back to index

1.6. Voting

Voting takes place on the day of election from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the polling stations designated by the electoral committee. Voters only vote in the electoral district to which they have been designated. Voters may also vote by mail.

Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who, on the day of election of the President, are 18 years of age or over, have the right to elect the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Citizens who are declared legally incapable by court do not participate in elections.

Other direct or indirect abridgement of the right to vote of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, religion, political or other opinion is prohibited.

Any citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, who has the right to elect the President of the Republic, has only one vote. There is no voting by proxy in the election of the President of the Republic. Voters vote in person and by secret ballot. Controlling of the will of the voters in elections is prohibited.

Back to index

1.7. Election results

The candidate for Office of President of the Republic, who, during the first election round in which at least half of the voters participate, receives more than half of the votes of all the voters who voted in the elections, is deemed the elected candidate. If less than half of registered voters participate in the elections, the candidate who receives the greatest number of the votes, but no less than one-third of votes of all the voters, is deemed the elected candidate.

If, during the first round of elections, no single candidate gets the required number of votes, the second round of elections is organised after two weeks between the two candidates who received the greatest number of the votes. The candidate who receives more votes is deemed elected.

If no more than two candidates participated in the first round of elections and failed to get the required number of votes, new elections are organised.

The final results of elections of the President of the Republic are officially announced by the Central Electoral Committee no later than within 5 days of the elections.

The results of repeat elections of the President of the Republic are officially announced by the Central Electoral Committee no later than within 5 days of the day of the repeat elections.

The announcement of the results of the elections for President of the Republic is the publication of the Resolution of the Central Electoral Committee in the press of the Republic of Lithuania through the Lithuanian News Agency (ELTA).

No later than within 3 hours of the publication of the election results, the Central Electoral Committee presents the certificate of the President of the Republic to the President-elect of the Republic.

A person elected President of the Republic must suspend his or her activity in political parties or political organisations until a new presidential election campaign begins. The President-elect should make the statement about suspending such activities on the next day after being issued the certificate of the President of the Republic by the Central Electoral Committee.

Back to index

1.8. Inauguration of the President

The President-elect of the Republic assumes the presidential duties on the day following the expiration of the term of office of the previous President of the Republic and after taking the oath to the people and swearing allegiance to the Republic of Lithuania and the Constitution to conscientiously fulfil the duties of the President and to be equally just to all.

The President of the Republic, upon being re-elected, also takes the oath.

The President of the Republic takes the oath in the Seimas building during a sitting of the Seimas. The signatories of the 11 March 1990 Act on the Reestablishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, members of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, dignitaries and representatives of the Churches of Lithuania, representatives of political parties and other political and public movements, as well as diplomats of foreign states accredited in Lithuania are invited to take part in the inaugural ceremony of the President of the Republic.

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Company broadcasts live the inaugural ceremony of the President of the Republic.

The President of the Republic takes the oath while standing before the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court or, in the absence of the Chairperson, in front of one of the judges of the Constitutional Court; the President reads the text of the oath holding his hand on the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The following text is the established oath of the President of the Republic:

"I, (full name), swear to the People to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania and its Constitution, to respect and implement the laws, and to protect the integrity of the territories of Lithuania;

swear to conscientiously execute the Office of President of the Republic and to be equally just to each individual;

swear to strengthen, to the best of my ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to serve the Homeland, democracy and the well-being of the people of Lithuania.

So help me God!"

The last sentence may be omitted from the oath.

Upon taking the oath, the President of the Republic signs the act of the oath. After the President, the act of the oath is signed by the Chairperson of the Constitutional Court, or, in the Chairperson's absence, by the judge of the Constitutional Court who has administered the oath. The act of oath of the President of the Republic is then handed to the Chairperson of the Seimas and is kept in the Seimas.

The text of the oath cannot be amended or changed. Non-compliance with this provision as well as refusal to take the oath at a sitting of the Seimas, refusal to sign the act of the oath, or signing with reservations thereof signify that the President of the Republic has not taken the oath and therefore may not carry out presidential duties.

After the signing of the act of the oath, the National Anthem is sung.

Back to index

2. Powers of the President

Back to index

2.1. Powers in the field of foreign policy

The President of the Republic settles basic foreign policy issues and, together with the Government, implements foreign policy.

Upon recommendation of the Government, the President appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania to foreign states and international organisations; receives letters of credence and recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign states; confers the highest diplomatic ranks and special titles. The President also signs international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania and submits them to the Seimas for ratification.

Back to index

2.2. Relations between the President and the Seimas

The Constitution establishes the system of the balance of powers of the President of the Republic and the Seimas. The President of the Republic and the Seimas co-ordinate the resolution of some issues. The system of checks and balances is manifestly reflected in legislative process, formation of the Government and the system of appointment of public officers.

The President convokes the first sitting of the newly elected Seimas.

In cases provided for in the Constitution (in the event of armed attack, upon imposition of the martial law and mobilisation, or upon declaration of the state of emergency) the Presidents convokes between the sessions of the Seimas an extraordinary sitting of the Seimas.

The President also announces regular elections to the Seimas and, in some cases, may announce early elections to the Seimas.

The President may announce early 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 has expressed no confidence in the Government.

The President of the Republic may not announce early elections to the Seimas, if the term of office of the President of the Republic expires within less than 6 months, or if six months have not passed since the early elections to the Seimas.

Back to index

2.3. Relations between the President and the Government

Upon the approval of the Seimas, the President of the Republic appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister, charges him or her to form the Government and approves its composition. Upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, the President appoints and dismisses ministers. Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania are accountable to the Seimas, the President of the Republic and directly subordinate to the Prime Minister.

The President accepts the resignation of the Government and, as necessary, charges it to continue exercising its duties or charges one of the Ministers to exercise the functions of the Prime Minister until a new Government is formed. The President also accepts resignation of individual ministers and may charge a resigned minister to exercise his or her duties until a new minister is appointed. Upon the election of a new Seimas, accepts the powers returned by the Government and charges it to continue exercising its duties until a new Government is formed. Upon the resignation of the Government or after the Government returns its powers and no later than within 15 days, submits to the Seimas the candidature of a new Prime Minister for consideration.

In the absence of the Prime Minister or when the Prime Minister is unable to fulfil his or her duties, the President of the Republic, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister, charges one of the ministers to execute the functions of the Prime Minister during a period not exceeding 60 days; in the absence of recommendation, the President of the Republic charges one of the ministers to act for the Prime Minister.

Between the sessions of the Seimas and as necessary the President gives consent to prosecute the Prime Minister or a minister and to arrest them or otherwise restrict their freedom.

Back to index

2.4. Legislative powers

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania is the highest legislative authority.

The President of the Republic has the right of legislative initiative. Apart from the President, this right is vested in the members of the Seimas, the Government and the voters, provided the legislative proposal of the voters is signed by 50 thousand voters.

The laws enacted by the Seimas are enforced after the signing and official promulgation thereof by the President of the Republic, unless a later date of enforcement is established in the laws.

Laws of the Republic of Lithuania, which are submitted to the President of the Republic for signing and promulgation, in accordance with the procedure established by the Statute of the Seimas, must be signed by the Seimas' Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson, thereby certifying the authenticity of the law passed by the Seimas.

Laws of the Republic of Lithuania, which are presented to the President of the Republic fort signing and promulgation are registered in a special book in which the date of signing and promulgation thereof is indicated later, or record is made concerning the return of these laws to the Seimas for repeat consideration.

Below the text of a law of the Republic of Lithuania and above the signature of the President the following entry is made: "I promulgate this Law adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania".

Within 10 days of receiving a law passed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic either signs and promulgates the said law or refers it back to the Seimas together with relevant comments for reconsideration.

If the law passed by the Seimas is not referred back or signed by the President of the Republic, the said law becomes effective upon the signing and promulgation thereof by the Chairperson of the Seimas.

The Seimas may reconsider and enact laws, which have been referred back by the President of the Republic.

After reconsideration by the Seimas, the law is deemed enacted if the amendments or supplements submitted by the President of the Republic were adopted, or if more than half of all the members of the Seimas voted in favour of them; in the event of a constitutional law no less than three-fifths of all the members of the Seimas should vote in favour thereof. The President of the Republic must sign and forthwith promulgate such laws within three days of passing thereof.

The President of the Republic must no later than within 5 days sign and promulgate laws amending the Constitution.

If the President of the Republic does not sign and promulgate such a law within the established period, the said law becomes effective upon being signed and promulgated by the Chairperson of the Seimas.

Laws amending the Constitution come into force no earlier than within one month of the day of their passing.

Laws and other legal acts adopted by referendum should be signed and promulgated by the President of the Republic no later than within 5 days of their adoption.

If the President of the Republic does not sign and promulgate such a law within the established period, the said law becomes effective upon being signed and promulgated by the Chairperson of the Seimas.

Back to index

2.5. Right to apply to the Constitutional Court

The President of the Republic has the right to apply to the Constitutional Court concerning the conformity of the legal acts passed by the Government with the Constitution and the laws. (This right may not be exercised in relation to the laws passed by the Seimas.) If the Constitutional Court concludes in its decision that a legal act in question is not in conformity with the Constitution and other laws, the said legal act may not be applied from the day of promulgation of the decision of the Constitutional Court.

The President may request a conclusion from the Constitutional Court in cases concerning violation of the laws on elections during the election of the members of the Seimas and concerning international agreements.

Back to index

2.6. Power to appoint judges

The court system of the Republic of Lithuania consists of district and county courts, the Court of Appeal of Lithuania and the Supreme Court of Lithuania as well as the Administrative Court. The President of the Republic participates in the process of appointment and dismissal of judges of all the above-mentioned courts.

The President of the Republic proposes to the Seimas the candidatures of judges of the Supreme Court, and a candidate for the Chairperson of the Supreme Court from among the appointed judges of the Supreme Court. Chairpersons of divisions of the Supreme Court are appointed from among the appointed judges by the Seimas on the proposal of the President of the Republic and on the recommendation of the Chairperson of the Supreme Court.

The President, upon the approval of the Seimas, appoints judges of the Court of Appeals, as well as the Chairperson of the Court of Appeals, who is chosen from among them. The candidates are recommended to the President by the Minister of Justice.

The President appoints judges and chairpersons of district, county and special courts, and approves to their transfer to another place of service.

In cases provided for by law, the President dismisses judges or proposes the dismissal of judges to the Seimas.

A special institution of judges, the Council of Judges, submits recommendations to the President concerning the appointment of judges, as well as their promotion, transfer, or dismissal from office.

In cases provided for by law, the President defines or proposes to the Seimas the number of judges in courts, as well as confirms standards of insignia and model forms of certificates of judges.

Judicial independence is enshrined in the Constitution and other laws of Lithuania. Judges are independent in administering justice.

A judge may not be prosecuted, arrested, or restricted in his or her personal freedom without the consent of the Seimas, and in the period between the sessions of the Seimas - without the consent of the President of the Republic.

While hearing cases, the judges are guided only by the letter of the law.

Public authorities, members of the Seimas and other officers, political parties, non-governmental organisations, and individuals are prohibited from interfering with the activities of a judge or the court, and violation of this incurs liability. Therefore the President may not influence decisions of courts, although citizens often apply to the Head of State regarding court decisions.

The Constitutional Court takes a distinctive place within the institutional framework of the State. It decides whether the laws and other legal acts adopted by the Seimas are in conformity with the Constitution, and whether legal acts adopted by the President and the Government do not violate the Constitution or laws.

The President proposes to the Seimas the candidatures of three Constitutional Court judges, and, upon appointing all the judges of the Constitutional Court, proposes, from among them, a candidate for the Constitutional Court Chairperson to the Seimas.

Back to index

2.7. Powers in the field of national defence

The President of the Republic of Lithuania is the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces. He appoints the chief commander of the Army and confers the highest military ranks.

The President is the Head of the State Defence Council, which considers and co-ordinates the main issues of national defence.

The President of the Republic adopts decisions on mobilisation, imposition of martial law, the use of the armed forces and defence against armed aggression.

In peace time, the President of the Republic approves the deployment sites of military units and territorial boundaries for manoeuvring; only the President has the right to adopt decisions, by issuing decrees, on the transfer of military units to other places of deployment. Only the Head of State may instruct, by his or her decree, the Minister of National Defence to form military units for protection of national borders.

Back to index

2.8. Power to declare the state of emerge

In the event of the threat to the constitutional system or public order of the State is threatened, the Seimas may declare the state of emergency in the country, or in separate parts of the country, for a period not exceeding six months.

In t, event of emergency, and if the Seimas is not in session, the President of the Republic has the right to pass such a decision, and, at the same time, to convene an extraordinary session of the Seimas for the consideration of this issue. The Seimas may approve or render null the decision of the President of the Republic.

Back to index

2.9. Power to appoint and dismiss public officers

Apart from the above mentioned public officers (the Prime Minister, the Ministers, judges, and diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania in foreign states), the Constitution and other laws of the Republic of Lithuania charge the President with the right to appoint and dismiss other public officers:

The President proposes to the Seimas candidates for the State Controller and the Chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania; and, if necessary, may propose to the Seimas to express non-confidence in the said officers. The President appoints and dismisses, upon the approval of the Seimas, the Chief Commander of the Army and the Head of the Security Service. The President, upon the recommendation of the Head of the Security Service, appoints and dismisses deputy heads of the National Security Office.

Back to index

2.10. Power to award citizenship

The President of the Republic grants the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, satisfies applications for renunciation and restoration of citizenship, and has the right to grant citizenship by way of exception.

The President of the Republic forms the Citizenship Committee for the preliminary consideration of issues of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and approves the rules of procedure of the Committee.

The Citizenship Committee submits to the President specific recommendations to comply with the applicants' requests concerning citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and in cases where the Committee refuses to recommend the granting of citizenship, it notifies the applicant of the refusal in writing, setting forth the reasons for refusal.

By his or her decrees the President adopts decisions concerning granting, renunciation, return and loss of the citizenship of Lithuania and the invalidity of the act on granting of citizenship.

The presidential decrees on granting of citizenship are signed by the Minister of the Interior.

Back to index

2.11. Power to grant pardons

The President of Lithuania grants pardons to sentenced persons.

Pardons are generally granted upon the petition of sentenced persons.

Persons sentenced by the courts of the Republic of Lithuania and, if international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania do not specify otherwise, those Lithuanian citizens who have been sentenced by courts of foreign states and serve their sentence in Lithuania, have the right to have their petitions for clemency considered.

The petitions of sentenced persons are preliminarily considered by the Clemency Committee, the meetings of which are chaired by the President of Lithuania. The Committee submits recommendations concerning the petitions. The Clemency Committee consists of the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, the Minister of Justice of Lithuania, the Minister of the Interior of Lithuania, the Prosecutor General of Lithuania, Presidential Adviser Legal Affairs, the Head of the Presidential Administration, the Chaplain of the Police and a representative of the Lithuanian Prisoners' Aid Association.

Sentenced persons are granted pardons in the following ways:

    1) by replacing death penalty with imprisonment;
    2) by fully or partially releasing them from primary and additional punishment;
    3) by replacing the remaining term of imprisonment with a more lenient punishment.
Sentenced persons are granted pardons by the decrees of the President.

Back to index

2.12. Power to award state decorations

State decorations of the Republic of Lithuania are conferred by the President. State decorations, i.e., orders, medals and other insignia are conferred for the services to the State both in peace time and war, and as an encouragement to faithfully serve the well being of the State of Lithuania and its people.

The Republic of Lithuania has the following State decorations:

Orders:

    1) Order of Vytautas the Great,
    2) Order of the Cross of Vytis,
    3) Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas.
Medals and other awards:
    1) Cross of Vytis,
    2) Flag of the Order of the Cross of Vytis,
    3) Medal of the Order of Vytautas the Great,
    4) Medal of the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas,
    5) Medal of the Volunteers-Founders of the Lithuanian Army,
    6) Medal of the Lithuanian Independence,
    7) Life Saving Cross,
    8) Star of Riflemen,
    9) Medal of the Star of Riflemen,
    10) Medal of 13 January.
At present, until a specific Seimas resolution on orders, medals and other awards of the Republic of Lithuania is passed, the following State decorations are conferred on distinguished persons:
    1) 1st Class Order of Vytautas the Great,
    2) Order of the Cross of Vytis,
    3) Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas,
    4) Medal of the Order of the Grand Duke Gediminas,
    5) Medal of Darius and Girėnas,
    6) Medal of the Volunteers-Founders of the Lithuanian Army,
    7) Medal of 13 January,
    8) Life Saving Cross.
The chief administrator of State orders, medals and other awards of the Republic of Lithuania is the Grand Master of the Orders the Republic of Lithuania. The Head of the Presidential Administration is the Grand Master of the Orders the Republic of Lithuania.

Back to index

2.13. Other presidential powers

The President of the Republic, as the Head of State, is allotted time on State radio and television to address the nation on the issues of domestic and foreign policy.

In the event of emergency, time, which has not been provided for in radio and television programs, must be allotted to the President of the Republic.

Back to index

3. Presidential decrees

The President of the Republic, implementing the powers vested in him or her, issues acts-decrees.

Decrees of the President of the Republic are registered in the book of decrees of the President of the Republic under an appropriate number.

In accordance with the established procedure, decrees of the President of the Republic are published in the Valstybes Zinios (the Official Gazette) and newspapers, and publicised through radio and television.

Decrees of the President of the Republic enter into force on the day following the announcement thereof, provided that no other date of entry into force is indicated in the decree.

Decrees of the President of the Republic concerning issues specified in Article 85 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania are also signed by:

    1) the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania - concerning appointment or dismissal of diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania to foreign states and in international organisations;

    2) the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania - concerning the granting of the highest diplomatic ranks and special titles;

    3) the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania - concerning the granting of the highest military ranks;

    4) the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania - concerning the declaration of the state of emergency; and

    5) the Minister of the Interior - concerning the granting of the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The President of the Republic issues orders related to his or her residence, the structure of the units assisting him, personnel, and the organisation of the work of the Office.

Back to index

4. President pro tempore

The Chairperson of the Seimas acts for the President of the Republic when the President is temporarily absent beyond the boundaries of the country or has fallen ill and is therefore temporarily unable to fulfil the duties of office.

While temporarily acting as the President of the Republic, the Chairperson of the Seimas may neither announce early elections to the Seimas nor dismiss or appoint Ministers without the agreement of the Seimas. During the said period, the Seimas may not consider the motion of no 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.

Back to index

5. Termination of presidential powers

The powers of the President of the Republic are terminated:

    1) upon the expiration of the term of office;

    2) upon holding an early presidential election;

    3) upon resignation from office;

    4) upon the death of the President of the Republic;

    5) when the Seimas removes the President from office according to impeachment proceedings; and

    6) when the Seimas, taking into consideration the conclusion of the Constitutional Court and by three-fifths majority vote of all the Seimas members, adopts a resolution stating that the President of the Republic is unable to fulfil the duties of office for reasons of health.

Back to index

5.1. Early elections of the President

When, in cases specified in the Constitution, the President of the Republic announces early 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 an early election of the President of the Republic.

If the President of the Republic wishes to compete in the election, he or she is immediately registered as a candidate.

If the President of the Republic is re-elected in such an election, he or she is 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 is elected only for the remainder of the first term, which is not considered a second term.

If an early 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 certain cases an election for the President is held prior to the expiry of the term of office. In these cases, an election, even if held earlier than generally, is not considered to be an early election:

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 are temporarily passed over to the Seimas Chairperson. In such a case, the Chairperson of the Seimas loses his or her powers in the Seimas, and at the behest of the Seimas, the duties of Chairperson are temporarily carried out by the Deputy Chairperson.

In the said cases, the Seimas announces, within 10 days, an election of the President of the Republic, which must be held within two months. If the Seimas cannot convene and announce the election of the President of the Republic, the election is announced by the Government.

Back to index

5.2. Impeachment

The President of the Republic may be prematurely removed from office only for gross violation of the Constitution, breach of the oath of office, or conviction for an offence. The Seimas resolves issues concerning the dismissal of the President of the Republic from office according to impeachment proceedings. Back to index

6. Immunity of the President

The person of the President of the Republic is inviolable: while in office, the President may neither be arrested nor can have criminal or administrative proceedings started against him.

Honour and dignity of the President of Lithuania are protected by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.

Laws provide liability for public insult or slander of the President of the Republic.

Back to index

7. Symbols of the President

The President of the Republic has a flag, which is the symbol of the Head of State.

The flag of the President of the Republic is made of purple fabric, on both sides of which the State Emblem of Lithuania is in the centre, held by a griffin on the right and a unicorn on the left. The width to length ratio of the flag of the President of the Republic is 1:1.2.

The flag of the President of the Republic as well as its pictures must always correspond to the standard picture of the colours of the flag of the President of the Republic, which is approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on the recommendation of the Heraldry Committee of Lithuania.

The flag of the President of the Republic is flown over the palace of the President of the Republic when the President of the Republic is in Vilnius, or in the presidential summer residence.

The flag of the President of the Republic is also flown on vessels or other vehicles, on or in which the President of the Republic is.

The President of the Republic uses a round stamp and document forms inscribed with the State Emblem of Lithuania. The stamp contains the inscription "The President of the Republic of Lithuania".

Back to index

8. Household of the President

The following services are provided for the President of the Republic:

    1) a salary equal to 12 average monthly salaries;

    2) a residence and official flat in Vilnius as well as a summer residence;

    4) a special aircraft and two motor cars;

    5) security provided by a special service;

    6) special fund for representation expenses in the country and in foreign states. In accordance with the international diplomatic practice, representation expenses should be accounted for, except for expenditure equalling 25 per cent of the monthly salary of the President.

Gifts, which the President of the Republic receives during official visits to foreign states, as well as from representatives of foreign states during their official visits to Lithuania, are the property of the State and are kept in the palace of the President of the Republic. Such gifts may, in the established manner, be transferred to museums for safe keeping; particularly valuable gifts may be transferred to the Bank of Lithuania.

The same procedure is also applied to gifts that are presented to the President of the Republic as the Head of State in Lithuania.

Upon leaving the office, the President of the Republic, for the rest of his or her life, is provided with:

    1) a monthly pension equal to 50 percent of the salary of the President of the Republic;

    2) a residence and relating services, as well as personal security and transport. The number of the staff, bodyguards and motor vehicles is established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

Persons who have served as President of the Republic hold the title of President of the Republic for life.

In case of death of the President of the Republic, funeral expenses are covered by the State.

Back to index

8.1. Presidential residence

The President of the Republic has a residence, which includes working, ceremonial and living premises, as well as offices of the staff.

Fixed-term contracts of employment are concluded with officials of the units providing assistance to the President of the Republic for the term of office of the President. If the powers of the President of the Republic are terminated, the officials assisting the President must, in all cases, resign.

The President of the Republic issues orders related to his or her residence, the structure of the units assisting him, personnel, and organisation of the office work.

The material accumulated in the Administration of the President of the Republic as well as in other units constitute part of the history of the People and the State of Lithuania, and has particular value.

Maintained by the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Please specify source when quoting.