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Home >> Your voice in Europe >> Lithuania >> Electoral law

Lithuania - Electoral Law
(Elections to the European Parliament : 13 June 2004)

1. LEGAL BASIS
The Law on Elections to the European Parliament, adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on 20/11/2003.
2. ELECTORAL SYSTEM
Proportional representation electoral system with preferential voting, universal suffrage.
A single multi-member constituency shall be formed of the territory of Lithuania.
Allocation of seats: Lists gaining less than 5 % of the total votes cast are not entitled to parliamentary representation.
3. REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES
Deadline for registration: 34 days prior to the elections (registration starts 65 days before the elections, i.e. 9 April 2004).
Deposit: The deposit required is 20 times the average monthly wage (the latest, as determined and published by the Department of Statistics under the GoRL.) per each list of candidates. In 2004 the amount will be approximately 23500 LTL (approx. 6800 euros).
The deposit is returned to a political party if (1) its list has passed the 5 % threshold and (2) the party has submitted a report on financial expenditure for the elections.

Conditions: Each political party that was registered by the Ministry of Justice 65 days prior to the elections is entitled to register its list of candidates.
Only political parties can nominate lists of candidates.

Incompatibilities: A MEP may not be a member of the Seimas (Parliament) and/or of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
4. POLLING DAY : 13 JUNE 2004
Other elections on the same day: No other elections on the same day.
Polling hours: Polling stations open at 7:00 and close at 20:00.
The count begins: immediately after closing of the polling stations (i.e. at 20:00 hrs)
Final results: 7 days after the elections
5. VOTING / STANDING FOR ELECTION
Right to vote: Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania as well as citizens of EU Member States who are 18 years old shall have the right to vote. Persons who have been declared legally incapable by a court shall not participate in elections.

Lithuanian citizens and citizens of other EU Member States permanently residing in Lithuania shall be included into the Electoral Roll. Voters are included automatically into the Electoral Roll, on the basis of the Population Register. The reference date (65 days prior to the elections, 9 April 2004) is the date by which a person must declare his/her place of residence in Lithuania. His/her data about the place of residence in Lithuania must be included into the Population Register by that date.

Voting is not compulsory.
Voting by post is possible. (it starts 5 days before the elections and ends 1 day before the elections.)
Right to stand for election: A candidate must be at least 21 years old.
A person is prohibited from standing as a candidate if by 'reference date' he/she has not served his/her sentence imposed by a court, if he is in the military or if the application of forced medical treatment measures, as established by a court, has not expired as well as if this person has been declared legally incapable by a court.
Only political parties can nominate lists of candidates.
6. ELECTION CAMPAIGN
Funding: Funding by the state is provided for publishing of the election programme of each candidate list as well as for campaigning broadcast on the National Radio and TV.
A political party shall cover all other costs of the election campaign from the account opened for this specific purpose.
The total cost of a campaign can not exceed 1000 times the average monthly wage (i.e. approximately 1 175 000 LTL = 340580 EUR) in 2004).
Official campaign starting date: The official campaign will start one month before the polling day when the Central Electoral Committee publishes all the candidate lists.
However, political campaigning is allowed from the date on which the Parliament passes its resolution establishing the date of the election (i.e. from 16 December 2003). Hence all campaigning costs starting from this date should be accounted in the financial report.
Campaign shall end 30 hours before the polling stations open.

Media access: Each candidate list is allocated 1 hour of campaigning broadcast on the National TV and 1 hour on the National Radio (Lietuvos Nacionalinis Radijas ir Televizija)

Opinion polls: Publication of opinion polls is prohibited 30 hours before the start of the polling.
Opinion polls per se are not prohibited, but the publication of the results is prohibited as it is construed to be a part of the electoral campaign. It is allowed to ask the voters who had cast their votes about the way they voted, but the results of such a poll can be made public only after the elections are over.