Professor Vytautas Sinkevičius: the right of EAPL-CFA to defense is limited
According to the former judge of the Constitutional Court, professor of constitutional law Vytautas Sinkevičius, the complaint of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania-Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA) regarding gross violations during this year’s parliamentary elections should be submitted to the entire Seimas for consideration.
News portal 15min.lt has published the opinion of the Constitutionalist Professor Vytautas Sinkevičius stating that the Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis has no right to make a unilateral decision not to turn to the Constitutional Court regarding the EAPL-CFA complaint concerning gross violations of the electoral law. According to the professor, the party’s complaint has to be submitted for consideration to the entire Seimas.
‘I think that the speaker of the Seimas does not fulfill his obligations. The Seimas must consider this issue and decide whether or not to submit an application to the Constitutional Court. The chairman of the Seimas cannot say that the Seimas will not consider this issue,’ said Sinkevičius.
According to professor Vytautas Sinkevičius, one of the creators of the Constitution, current legal regulation limits the right of EAPL-CFA to defend its rights in court.
Jonas Udris, an election expert and a long-term member of the Central Election Commission, agrees with Sinkevičius that both the Seimas and the President must consider the complaint of EAPL-CFA and refer to the Constitutional Court. A well-known lawyer wrote on his Facebook profile that pursuant to Art. 86 (6) of the Law on Elections to the Seimas, such an application to the Constitutional Court is an obligation.
‘The President has no discretion as to whether the complaint is well-founded or not. It is the President’s duty to submit a complaint to the Constitutional Court!
The law on Elections to the Seimas says (Art. 86 (6)): Parties which have nominated candidates for Seimas member as well as candidates for Seimas member may appeal against the decisions of the Central Electoral Committee or against the refusal of the Central Electoral Commission to investigate complaints about the violations of the Law on Elections not later than within 24 hours after the announcement of the official final election results, to the Seimas or the President of the Republic. In such cases, the Seimas or President of the Republic shall, not later than within 48 hours, appeal to the Constitutional Court with the inquiry concerning the violation of the Law in Elections to the Seimas.
The President is bound by the regulations and he does not have the freedom to choose whether to submit a complaint or not if the complaint was submitted by an entity that has the right to do so. The Constitutional Court itself also commented on this matter (…).
What is worse, you, playing the role of a judge, not only exceed the powers granted to you by the Constitution, but also restrict the EAPL’s right to defend its rights in court, thus committing a great abuse.’