Statute of the Seimas (Parliament) (1994, amended 1999)

Untitled Document

SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

S T A T U T E

ON THE AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTE

17 February 1994 No.I-399

Vilnius

(New edition since 22 December 1998 No. VIII-1000)

(As amended by 11 November 1999, No VIII-1419)

Article 1. Revised Version of the Statute

The Statute shall be amended to read as follows:

'SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

S T A T U T E

PART I

STATUS OF A SEIMAS MEMBER

Chapter I

Powers and the Oath of a Seimas Member

Article 1. Mandate of a the Seimas Member

1. The main rights and duties of a member of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as a Seimas Member) shall be defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution) and this Statute, and his other rights and duties - by other laws of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as laws) as well.

2. In performing his duties, a Seimas Member shall act in compliance with the Constitution, interests of the State, his own conscience, and may not be restricted by any mandate.

Article 2. Beginning of the Powers and Acquisition of the Rights of a Seimas Member

1. The powers of Seimas Members shall begin on the day that the newly elected Seimas convenes for the first time. The powers of the previously elected Seimas Members shall expire upon the commencement of the said sitting.

2. A Seimas Member elect shall acquire all of the rights of a representative of the Nation only upon taking the oath at a Seimas sitting to be loyal to the Republic of Lithuania. A Seimas Member who has not taken the oath shall not have the rights established in Chapter 2 of this Statute, shall not make use of the essentials provided for his activities, as well as guarantees of his activities specified in Chapter 3 of this Statute, and shall not receive the salary of a Seimas Member.

Article 3. Text of the Oath of a Seimas Member

1. The text of the oath of a Seimas Member shall read as follows:

'I (forename, surname)

swear to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania;

swear to respect and observe its Constitution and laws, and to protect the integrity of its territory;

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

So help me God!

2. The oath may be taken omitting the last sentence.

Article 4. Procedure for Taking the Oath of a Seimas Member

1. The oath of a Seimas Member shall be administered by the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Constitutional Court), or, in his absence or in the event that the Chairman is temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office, by the judge of the Constitutional Court, acting as the Chairman of the Constitutional Court.

2. A Seimas Member shall take the oath while standing in front of the person who administers the oath, and reading the oath, holding his hand on the Constitution.

3. Upon having read the oath, a Seimas Member shall sign the nominal oath sheet.

4. The text of the oath shall not be amended and changed; only the last sentence of the oath may be struck out. The Seimas Member who does not comply with this provision, who refuses to sign the nominal oath sheet or who signs the sheet with a stipulation, shall not be considered to have taken the oath.

5. Nominal oath sheets shall be handed over to the Chairman or the judge of the Constitutional Court, who has administered the oath, who shall check them and read the names of the Seimas Members who have acquired all of the rights of a representative of the nation.

6. A Seimas Member must take the oath anew, if, upon termination of his powers, he has again become a Seimas Member pursuant to the Constitution and laws.

7. A Seimas Member must take the oath not later than within a month from the first sitting attended by him.

Article 5. Consequences in the Event to Take the Oath of Failure by a Seimas Member

The Seimas Member who fails to take the oath in the manner prescribed by this Statute, or who takes a conditional oath, shall lose the mandate of a Seimas Member under Article 59 of the Constitution. The Seimas shall adopt a resolution thereon.

Article 6. Compatibility of the Duties of a Seimas Member

1. The duties of a Seimas Member, with the exception of his duties in the Seimas, shall be incompatible with any other duties in State institutions and organisations, as well as with any job in business, commercial and other private institutions or enterprises.

2. For his term of office, a Seimas Member shall be exempt from the duty to perform national defence service.

3. A Seimas Member may be appointed only as Prime Minister or Minister.

Article 7. A Certificate and Badge of a Seimas Member

1. A Seimas Member shall have a certificate of a Seimas Member and a badge of a Seimas Member which shall be used by him during his term of office.

2. The certificate shall be presented to a Seimas Member after the proclamation of election results, and the badge - after taking the oath.

3. A sample of the badge of a Seimas Member shall be approved by the Board of the Seimas.

Article 8. Termination of the Powers of a Seimas Member

The powers of a Seimas Member shall be terminated:

1) upon the expiration of his term of office, or when the Seimas elected in pre-term elections convenes for the first time;

2) upon his death;

3) upon his resignation by handing in his notice;

4) if he is declared legally incapable by the court;

5) if the Seimas revokes his mandate in accordance with impeachment proceedings;

6) if the elections are deemed invalid, or if the Law on Elections to the Seimas is grossly violated;

7) if he takes a job, or, within 3 months, does not resign from the job which is inconsistent with the requirements of Article 6 of this Statute; or

8) if he is deprived of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Chapter II

Activities of A Seimas Member

Article 9. Rights of a Seimas Member

A Seimas Member shall, in the manner prescribed by this Statute, have the right to:

1) vote on all issues being considered at sittings of the Seimas, committee or commission of which he is a member;

2) elect and be elected to any office in the Seimas;

3) participate in a discussion concerning all issues under consideration, and present his motions, observations, amendments, vocally or in writing;

4) submit the text of his speech, which has not been made, to the chairman of a sitting for the inclusion in the verbatim record of the sitting;

5) propose issues to the Seimas for consideration;

6) prepare and submit to the Seimas for consideration drafts of laws and other legislative acts, as well as to put motions relative to the laws which are to be debated in the Seimas;

7) pose questions to reporters and supplementary reporters during the Seimas sittings;

8) make statements and remarks, speak on voting motives, put motions relative to the conduct, procedure of a sitting;

9) obtain, directly or through an assistant, copies of the registered drafts of laws, as well as copies of laws and other acts passed by the Seimas, decisions and draft decisions of Chairman of the Seimas, the Board of the Seimas and the Assembly of Elders, drafts of the legislative acts prepared by the Government, resolutions passed by other State government and administration institutions, and legislative acts of public officers;

10) attend sittings of all Seimas committees and commissions, and Government sittings, and, when necessary, attend sittings of State government and administration institutions at which issues submitted by him are discussed, as well as, upon advance notice, other sittings at which the issues he is interested in are discussed, except the sittings concerning State secrets the procedure for the consideration whereof shall be established by law;

11) make inquiries to the Government members, the heads of other State institutions, submit questions to them and to the Seimas officers; and

12) together with other Seimas Members:

a) submit a draft law on the amendment of the Constitution,

b) initiate impeachment,

c) start non-confidence, interpellation proceedings,

d) convene an extraordinary Seimas session and an extraordinary sitting,

e) appeal to the Constitutional Court,

f) otherwise act in accordance with the provisions of this Statute.

Article 10. Participation of a Seimas Member in the Seimas Sittings and Work in the Committees

1. A Seimas Member must participate in the Seimas sittings during the voting which has been planned in advance. A voting for the passage of a law, which was officially announced at least one working day prior to the day of the voting shall be considered to have been planned in advance.

2. Each Seimas Member, with the exception of the Chairman of the Seimas and the Prime Minister, must serve as a member of a committee and must participate in the work thereof, and he must also serve as a substitute for another member of the committee.

3. Each Seimas Member may serve as a member of only one committee, except participation in the Committee on European Affairs.

4. The Chairman of the Seimas and the Prime Minister (if he is a Seimas Member) may not serve as members of a committee or a substitute for a committee member.

5. While participating in sittings of the Seimas, committees and commissions, a Seimas Member must adhere to this Statute.

Article 11. Failure to Attend Sittings by Seimas Members, and Foreign Travel

1. The Secretariat of the Seimas sittings shall accept notices of the Seimas Members about their non-attendance of Seimas sittings, and the Secretariat of the Seimas committees and commissions - about non-attendance of sittings of the committees and commissions by the Seimas Members. Such information together with the documents justifying the non-attendance of a sitting, shall be furnished to the Commission of Ethics and Procedures at the end of each month.

2. Upon returning from a business trip abroad or foreign travel to which the Board of the Seimas has given its consent, a Seimas Member must, not later than within 10 days and in a prescribed manner, present a report to the Board of the Seimas concerning the fulfilment of assignments.

Article 12. Work of a Seimas Member with Voters

1. A Seimas Member must regularly hold meetings with voters. He shall have the right to invite officers of State institutions and local authorities, as well as members of municipal councils to participate in the meetings.

2. A Seimas Member shall examine proposals, requests and complaints and, when necessary, shall refer them to State institutions for consideration.

3. Complaints of voters which fall within the competence of a Seimas ombudsman, may be referred to a Seimas ombudsman for investigation. They shall be addressed in accordance with the procedure established by the Law on Seimas ombudsmen.

4. All officers and heads of enterprises, institutions and organisations to whom an appeal of a Seimas Member is addressed or to whom proposals, requests and complaints of voters have been referred by a Seimas Member, must consider them and reply to a Seimas Member not later than within 20 days of the receipt thereof.

Chapter III

Provision of Conditions and Guarantees Necessary

for the Activities of a Seimas Member

Article 13. Duties of Local Authorities to Provide Conditions for the Activities of Seimas Members

1. Local authorities and their executive bodies, as well as heads of State enterprises, institutions and organisations, must provide a Seimas Member with conditions enabling him to meet with voters, must announce of the time and place of such meetings, and must provide him with other necessary assistance and information.

2. Local authorities must allot and maintain permanent premises for Seimas Members elected in a single-candidate electoral areas to receive voters.

3. Local authorities must allot properly arranged premises for Seimas Members elected in multi-candidate electoral areas to receive voters and hold meetings.

Article 14. Visits of Seimas Members to Enterprises, Institutions and Organisations

1. A Seimas Member shall have the right to demand to be received without delay at enterprises, institutions and organisations concerning issues which pertain to his activities, as well as the right to be provided with necessary information.

2. A Seimas Member shall have the right to unrestricted access of all enterprises, institutions and organisations. The visitation procedure for enterprises, institutions and organisations whose activities are associated with the protection of State secrets, as well as the procedure for the protection of the information considered a State secret, which has been acquired by a Seimas Member, shall be established by laws.

Article 15. Salary of a Seimas Member

1. Compensation for the work of a Seimas Member, as well as the expenses related to his parliamentary activities, shall be covered from the State Budget.

2. The salary of a Seimas Member and the procedure for payment thereof shall be established by the Seimas. The law concerning changes in the amount of salaries of Seimas Members shall become effective only from the day that the next newly-elected Seimas convenes for the first time.

3. Seimas Members-officers and the leader of the Seimas Opposition shall be paid supplementary salaries, the amount of which shall be established by the law, for their work.

4. A Seimas Member may not receive any other payment, with the exception of payment for creative activities. Payments made to a Seimas Member for creative activities shall comprise royalties for the works of art and the performance thereof, for articles and books, for the material for radio and television programmes, as well as payment for pedagogical and scientific work performed not during the sittings of the Seimas, its committees and commissions.

Article 16. Secretaries-Assistants of Seimas Members

A Seimas Member shall be entitled to have personal or joint secretary-assistants with other members of his respective parliamentary group, whose salaries shall be paid from the State Budget, as well as he shall be also entitled to have assistants who work on a voluntary basis.

Article 17. Liability for Preventing a Seimas Member from Exercising his Powers

1. Persons and officers who prevent a Seimas Member from exercising his powers, who encroach upon the life, health, honour, or dignity of a Seimas Member as a representative of the Nation, shall be held liable under law.

2. If the legitimate demands of a Seimas Member are not carried out, a disciplinary penalty may, according to the procedure established by laws, be imposed on the offending officer who is responsible, he may be removed from office.

Chapter IV

Discipline and Immunity of A Seimas Member. Obligation of a Seimas Member to Avoid the Conflict of Interests

Article 18. Obligation of a Seimas Member to Avoid the Conflict of Interests

1. It shall be prohibited to use the mandate of a Seimas Member for purposes other than the interests of the Nation, State and voters. A Seimas Member must respect and act in compliance with the Constitution and laws.

2. While executing the duties of a Seimas Member, each Seimas Member must avoid the conflict between the private interests of a Seimas Member and his duties to represent the interests of the public, he must not also act in such a way, that the public would entertain doubts about the existence of such conflict. In the event of the conflict of interests, a Seimas Member must act in compliance with this Statute and recommendations of the Ethics and Procedures Commission or the Chief Institutional Ethics Commission. A Seimas Member must do his utmost that his integrity should not raise doubts among the public and that the public be given a possibility to ascertain the integrity of the Seimas Member.

3. The Ethics and Procedures Commission or an investigation commission set up for this purpose must analyse the activities of a Seimas Member which violate the said provisions, and prepare findings for the Seimas.

4. Every year each Seimas Member shall, according to the Law on the Adjustment of Public and Private Interests in Public Service, submit to the Ethics and Procedures Commission an annual private interests declaration, as well as a declaration if new circumstances turn out. The said Commission shall keep private interests declarations of the candidates who have become Seimas Members. The declarations shall be kept in the Commission for the whole term of office of a Seimas Member, and later they shall be transferred to the Seimas Archives for keeping.

5. Upon having considered the private interests declarations of Seimas Members, the Ethics and Procedures Commission shall submit to Seimas Members written recommendations how to avoid the conflict of interests, which Seimas Members may make public at their own discretion. The said recommendations may be general - annual or intended to handle a specific situation. The latter generally shall be submitted at the request of a Seimas Member.

6. Before the consideration of an issue or during the consideration, a Seimas Member who has a private interest in such an issue, must inform the presiding officer of a sitting about a threat of the conflict of interests and must stay away from further consideration and voting.

7. If a Seimas Member has not carried out the requirements of paragraph 6 of this Article and such behaviour of a Seimas Member is contrary to the recommendation of the Ethics and Procedures Commission, which has been submitted to a Seimas Member in accordance with paragraph 5 of this Article, the Ethics and Procedures Commission shall immediately inform the Seimas about it. In this event, the consideration of an issue may, upon the decision of the Seimas, be started anew.

8. If it appears that during the passage of a Seimas law, the provisions of this Article concerning the avoidance of the conflict of interests have been violated, the provisions set forth in Article 160 of this Statute may be applied.

Article 19. Assessment of the Absence of the Seimas Members from the Seimas Sittings

1. The Ethics and Procedures Commission shall analyse the reasons for which Seimas Members have not attended the Seimas sittings during the voting planned in advance, and shall decide whether such reasons are justifiable.

2. The salaries of an appropriate month may, according to the procedure established by the law, be decreased for the Seimas Members who have not participated in the voting planned in advance, and upon the decision of the Ethics and Procedures Commission, their names may be announced in the press.

Article 20. Warning to a Seimas Member

1. If during a sitting a Seimas Member begins to argue with Seimas Members or other participants of the sitting, does not carry out the recommendation of the Ethics and Procedures Commission regarding the avoidance of the conflict of interests, the Seimas Member may be called to order by the presiding officer of the sitting.

2. If the said Seimas Member does not heed the warning of the presiding officer of the sitting, the warning may be recorded in the minutes of the sitting. Warnings to a Seimas Member for a public threat to colleagues, for an insult of a Seimas Member or a group thereof, for dishonest voting or for the refusal to carry out the recommendation of the Ethics and Procedures Commission regarding the avoidance of the conflict of interests shall be immediately recorded in the minutes.

3. The warning which is recorded in the minutes of the sitting shall be administered on the recommendation of the presiding officer of the Seimas sitting or the Ethics and Procedures Commission, without debate and by a simple majority of the Seimas Members participating in the voting.

4. A Seimas Member to whom administration of such warning is proposed, shall have the right to explain himself to the Seimas for a maximum of 3 minutes prior to the voting.

Article 21. Removal of a Seimas Member from a Sitting

1. The Seimas may temporarily remove a Seimas Member from the chamber if he:

1) continues, after being called to order, to interrupt the work of the Seimas or does not carry out the recommendations of the Ethics and Procedures Commission regarding the avoidance of the conflict of interests;

2) during a sitting, calls for the use of the coercion or uses it personally;

3) publicly insults or threatens the President of the Republic, the Seimas, the Chairman of the Seimas, the Seimas Members, the Government, or the Prime Minister during a sitting;

4) disgraces the name of a Seimas Member with his actions.

2. Decisions concerning the removal of a Seimas Member from the chamber shall be adopted without debate by a simple majority of the Seimas Members participating in the voting, on the recommendation of the presiding officer of the meeting or the Ethics and Procedures Commission.

3. The term of a temporary removal from the chamber shall in each case be established by the Seimas, but may not be more than 10 plenary sittings. If the term is not indicated, it shall be assumed that the Seimas Member is removed until the end of the sitting.

4. During the period of the removal from the chamber, the Seimas Member may not participate in voting which is carried out during an adjournment of the sitting.

5. If a Seimas Member who has been temporarily removed from the sitting, refuses to heed the demand of the presiding officer of the sitting to leave the chamber, the sitting shall be temporarily interrupted and security officers shall escort the punished Seimas Member from the chamber. In this event, the term of removal from the chamber may, upon the decision of the presiding officer of the sitting, be extended for the period of up to 5 sittings.

6. The Seimas Member who is removed from the Seimas sittings shall not receive a salary for the days when the Seimas sittings from which he is removed are held.

Article 22. Immunity of a Seimas Member

1. The person of a Seimas Member shall be inviolable.

2. A Seimas Member may not be persecuted for his voting or speeches in the Seimas, i.e. at the sittings of the Seimas, Seimas committees, commissions and parliamentary groups, however, he may, for personal insult or slander, be held liable in accordance with the general procedure.

3. Criminal proceedings may not be instituted against a Seimas Member, he may not be arrested, and may not be subjected to any other restrictions of personal freedom without the consent of the Seimas, except in cases when he is caught in the act of committing a crime (in flagrante delicto). In such cases the Prosecutor General must immediately notify the Seimas thereof.

Article 23. Deprivation of the Inviolability of a Seimas Member

1. After the hearing of the report of the Prosecutor General concerning the crime committed by a Seimas Member, the Seimas sitting shall be adjourned for the period of not less than one hour and not more than two hours. After the adjournment the Seimas shall adopt one of the following decisions:

1) to form an investigation commission for the consent to institute criminal proceedings against a Seimas Member; or

2) to initiate preliminary actions of the impeachment proceedings - such decision shall be examined and adopted only in the event that the proposal of the subjects specified in paragraph 1 of Article 230 of this Statute exists.

2. If the Seimas decides to form an investigation commission for the consent to institute criminal proceedings against a Seimas Member, then the commission shall be formed according to the procedure provided for in Article 71 of this Statute. When investigating the issue concerning the deprivation of the inviolability of a Seimas Member, the commission must invite to a meeting of the commission the said Seimas Member whose issue is under consideration and hear him or other Seimas Member authorised by him, and a representative of the Prosecutor's Office. If the invited Seimas Member or other Seimas Member authorised by him fails to come to the commission meeting without a valid reason or he refuses to provide explanations to the commission, the commission shall have the right to adopt a decision in the absence of the Seimas Member or other Seimas Member authorised by him. Valid reasons because of which the Seimas Member or other Seimas Member authorised by him does not come to the commission meeting shall be the reasons laid down in the norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure, prescribing compulsory appearance of the participants of the proceedings.

3. If the Seimas resolves to initiate preliminary actions of the impeachment proceedings, the said actions shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure established in Part VIII of this Statute.

4. If the Seimas has adopted the resolution regarding the consent to institute criminal proceedings against a Seimas Member, preliminary actions of the impeachment proceedings and the impeachment procedure may be initiated against a Seimas Member only upon having resolved the issue of criminal liability, i.e. provided that a conviction has been passed or an acquittal has become effective, or criminal proceedings have been terminated.

5. After the investigation commission has prepared and announced its note and the draft resolution, the issue concerning the deprivation of the inviolability of the person of a Seimas Member shall be included on the agenda of the next Seimas sitting.

6. Consideration of this issue, as well as in the submitted resolution, shall be limited only to the interpretation, assessment or definition of the facts provided for in the motion. The discussion concerning draft resolutions shall be attended by the reporter of the commission, the concerned Seimas Member or another Seimas Member authorised by him, and no more than two Seimas Members who speak out 'in favour' and two members who speak out 'against' the draft resolution. If the draft resolution provides for the satisfaction of the motion of the Prosecutor General, it may be adopted if more than half of the Seimas Members vote in favour of the draft.

Upon the receipt of the consent of the Seimas to take criminal action against a Seimas Member, said Seimas Member may not be arrested within the house of the Seimas.

PART II

STRUCTURE OF THE SEIMAS

Chapter V

General Issues of Structure

Article 24. Heads of the Seimas

1. Sittings of the Seimas shall be presided over by the Chairman of the Seimas or his deputy.

2. There shall not be more than five Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas.

3. The competence of the Seimas Chairman and Deputy Chairmen shall be defined by the Constitution and this Statute.

4. The drafting of the Seimas documents shall be monitored by the Chancellor of the Seimas.

5. On the recommendation of the Seimas Chairman, one of the Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas shall be appointed the first Deputy Chairman of the Seimas.

6. The Seimas Member who is elected Seimas Chairman or temporarily acting as Seimas Chairman must suspend his activities in a parliamentary group of the Seimas Members.

Article 25. Committees and Commissions of the Seimas

1. The Seimas shall form committees from among its members for the consideration of draft laws and other issues assigned to its competence by the Constitution. The list of the committees shall be established by this Statute.

2. The Ethics and Procedures Commission, the Administration Commission, the Petitions Commission and other standing commissions shall be formed in the Seimas.

3. For resolving short-term issues or issues of narrower scope, and for carrying out concrete assignments, the Seimas may, from among its members, form investigation, control, auditing, preparatory, drafting and other ad hoc commissions.

4. The Board of the Seimas may also form preparatory, drafting ad hoc commissions, and the Assembly of Elders - co-ordination commissions.

5. The work of the committees and commissions shall be directed by the respective chairmen thereof.

Article 26. Parliamentary Groups, Mixed and Interim Groups of the Seimas Members

1. Seimas Members may form parliamentary groups according to the procedure established by this Statute for implementing their political goals. This Statute shall establish the rights of the parliamentary groups of the Seimas members.

2. A parliamentary group of the Seimas Members shall be headed and represented in the Seimas by its Elder or Deputy Elder; each Seimas Member authorised by a parliamentary group may speak out on behalf of the parliamentary group.

3. The Seimas Members who have not been registered in parliamentary groups shall be con­sidered as members of one mixed group of the Seimas Members. The mixed group of the Seimas Members shall be granted all of the rights of a parliamentary group provided for in this Statute.

4. The Seimas Members may form interim groups in the procedure established by this Statute.

Article 27. Board of the Seimas

1. The Board of the Seimas shall function in the Seimas, the principle task whereof shall be to settle organisational issues of the work of the Seimas and give advice to the Chairman of the Seimas, if he requests so.

2. The Board of the Seimas shall consist of the Chairman of the Seimas, Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas, the Chancellor of the Seimas and the Leader of the Opposition in the Seimas. The composition of the Board of the Seimas shall be approved by the resolution of the Seimas.

Article 28. Assembly of Elders

1. The Seimas shall have an Assembly of Elders comprising the members of the Board of the Seimas and the representatives of the parliamentary groups.

2. Each parliamentary group shall appoint one representative for every ten members of the group to the Assembly of Elders.

3. In addition, each parliamentary group shall appoint to the Assembly of Elders one representative for the remaining segment of fewer than ten members of the parliamentary group, provided that the said segment of fewer than ten members shall comprise more than five Seimas Members.

4. Parliamentary groups consisting of fewer than ten members shall each appoint one representative to the Assembly of Elders.

5. The principal task of the Assembly of Elders shall be to consider and approve work programmes of the Seimas session and agendas of sittings, to co-ordinate issues concerning the organisation of the work of the committees and parliamentary groups of the Seimas, and to submit drafts of the decisions on said issues to the Seimas and the Board, and give advice to the Chairman of the Seimas.

Chapter VI

Chairman of the Seimas, Deputy Chairman of the Seimas,

Chancellor, and Board of the Seimas

Article 29. Powers of the Chairman of the Seimas

The Chairman of the Seimas shall:

1) direct the work of the Seimas and represent the Seimas;

2) within 10 days following the passage, certify with his signature the authenticity of the text of the law passed by the Seimas and refer it to the President of the Republic to sign, within 10 days sign the Statute of the Seimas and amendments thereto, within 3 days sign the laws which are not signed by the President of the Republic and not returned to the Seimas for repeat consideration within 10 days from the submission thereof, as well as proclaim them;

3) within 10 days from the passage, sign the resolutions of the Seimas and other acts passed by the Seimas;

4) within 24 hours sign the minutes of Seimas sittings, as well as the decisions of the Board of the Seimas, provided he has presided over them;

5) temporarily act as President of the Republic or temporarily deputise for President of the Republic in the cases specified in Article 89 of the Constitution;

6) propose to the Seimas candidatures to the posts of Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas and the Chancellor of the Seimas;

7) propose to the Seimas candidatures to Constitutional Court judges in accordance with the procedure established by the Constitution;

8) propose to the Seimas the candidatures of the Seimas ombudsmen and the head of the Seimas ombudsmen˙s office for appointment and dismissal;

9) propose candidatures to the Seimas for appointment and dismissal to the posts of heads and deputy heads of State institutions in the cases provided by the Constitution and laws;

10) preside over the sittings of the Seimas and the Board of the Seimas or charge one of his Deputies to carry out this function;

11) submit drafts of the work programmes of a session and draft agendas of week- or day-long sittings to the Assembly of Elders or charge one of his Deputies to carry out this function; and

12) submit draft agendas of meetings of the Board of the Seimas or charge one of his Deputies to carry out this function.

2. While exercising his powers, the Chairman of the Seimas shall issue directives.

3. The Chairman of the Seimas and, in his absence, his Deputy may, provided he is not presiding over a sitting, voice out of turn his own opinion or the opinion of the Board of the Seimas on any issue under consideration at the Seimas sittings.

4. During a session of the Seimas, the Chairman of the Seimas, his Deputies and the Chancellor of the Seimas shall, at least once a month, answer the questions concerning their activities, which are beforehand submitted in writing by the Seimas Members.

Article 30. Powers of the Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas

1. The Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas shall carry out the functions assigned to them by the Chairman of the Seimas.

2. When necessary, the Chairman of the Seimas may charge one of them to deputise for the Chancellor of the Seimas.

3. The Deputy Chairmen of the Seimas shall within 24 hours sign the minutes of Seimas sittings, as well as the decision of the Board of the Seimas, provided they have presided over those sittings upon the Chairman˙s of the Seimas charge.

4. In the event that the Chairman of the Seimas is temporarily away or has been taken ill and is unable because of that to execute his duties, the first Deputy Chairman of the Seimas or another Deputy Chairman of the Seimas, at the behest of the Seimas, shall deputise for him during such period.

5. If, in the cases specified in Article 89 of the Constitution, the Chairman of the Seimas temporarily acts as President of the Republic, and as a result thereof has lost his powers in the Seimas, his Deputy shall temporarily act as Chairman of the Seimas at the behest of the Seimas.

6. The resolution (preliminary or adopted for a concrete case) concerning the temporary performance of the duties of the Chairman of the Seimas or deputising for him shall be adopted by the Seimas on the motion of the Chairman of the Seimas.

Article 31. Powers of the Chancellor of the Seimas

The Chancellor of the Seimas shall:

1) supervise the drafting of documents of the Seimas and the Board of the Seimas, observe the consideration of the submitted draft laws within the set time limit;

2) supervise the consideration of issues, inquiries and interpellations submitted to the Government and the heads of other State institutions and furnish related information to Seimas Members;

3) consider the issues raised by the Seimas Members concerning the functioning of the Office of the Seimas; supervise the implementation of the decisions of the Board of the Seimas by the structural units of the Office of the Seimas, as well as their compliance with the provisions and internal rules which regulate the functioning thereof;

4) assist the Chairman of the Seimas in preparing a draft work programme of a session, as well as draft agendas for week- and day-long sittings;

5) assist the Chairman of the Seimas in preparing draft agendas of meetings of the Board of the Seimas, as well as the material related to the issues subject to consideration;

6) work out draft agendas of the Assembly of Elders;

7) endorse official documents prior to their being submitted to the Chairman of the Seimas for signing and, within the limits of his competence, sign official documents;

8) be responsible for the use and keeping of the Seimas Seals bearing the State Emblem;

9) propose members to the tellers˙ group in accordance with the procedure provided for in this Statute;

10) regularly submit to the Seimas summarised data concerning proposals, wishes and letters addressed by voters to the Seimas;

11) together with the representatives of the parliamentary groups, arrange the seats in the chamber for the members of the parliamentary groups and for those members of the Seimas who do not belong to any parliamentary group and allocate premises for meetings of the parliamentary groups; and

12) resolve issues concerning the employment or dismissal of assistants-secretaries of Seimas Members.

Article 32. Powers of the Board of the Seimas

The Board of the Seimas shall:

1) distribute funds of the Seimas provided for in the State Budget, discuss and approve the estimates of expenditures of the Seimas;

2) by the advice of the committees, consider and send the Seimas Members on business trips with written tasks of the Seimas, the Board, and committees; approve reports on such trips;

3) by the advice of the committees or parliamentary groups, consider and approve of trips of the Seimas Members during a session, which are not financed from the funds of the Seimas;

4) when necessary, consider draft work programmes of a Seimas session and draft agendas of week- or day-long sittings, and submit conclusions to the Assembly of Elders or the Seimas;

5) call extraordinary sittings of the Seimas, fix a time for such sittings;

6) approve a preliminary schedule of sittings of a Seimas session;

7) when necessary, establish to which institutions or persons the principal committee must refer a draft law for conclusions;

8) when necessary, adopt a decision to relieve the principal committee of the obligations set forth in Article 147 of this Statute;

9) when necessary, form working groups for drafting laws and carrying out the assignments of the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas;

10) assist in organising the joint work of the committees on issues which fall within the competence of several committees;

11) appoint and dismiss the Head of the Office of the Seimas, who is responsible and accountable to the Board;

12) approve the structure of the Office of the Seimas, draw up a list of the staff of the Office of the Seimas, and fix the salaries thereof;

13) appoint and dismiss the heads and deputy heads of all the divisions of the Office of the Seimas by announcing a competition for the vacancies;

14) approve the regulations of the structural units of the Office of the Seimas, the rules of internal activities and the instructions for clerical work; and

15) settle other issues related to the organisation of the activities of the Seimas which are not ascribed to other institutions or officers of the Seimas by virtue of this Statute.

Article 33. Meetings of the Board of the Seimas

1. Meetings of the Board of the Seimas shall be convened and presided over by the Chairman of the Seimas or by the Deputy Chairman of the Seimas, authorised by him.

2. Other members of the Seimas, as well as permanent representatives of the President of the Republic and the Government, may participate in the meetings of the Board of the Seimas as observers. Other individuals may also be invited to meetings of the Board of the Seimas.

3. Issues for consideration may be submitted to the Board by the Board members, committees, commissions, parliamentary groups, and the Head of the Office of the Seimas.

4. Draft documents of the Board of the Seimas which are submitted for consideration shall be signed by their initiators and handed over to the Chancellor of the Seimas who shall prepare the agenda of a meeting, based thereon.

Article 34. Decisions of the Board of the Seimas

1. Decisions of the Board of the Seimas shall be adopted by open vote and simple majority of those in attendance, provided that a meeting of the Board of the Seimas is attended by at least half of the Board members. A tie vote shall be decided by the vote of the Chairman of the Seimas or, in his absence, of the Deputy Chairman of the Seimas who is presiding over the meeting.

2. The members of the Seimas shall be informed of the decisions of the Board of the Seimas through the committees and parliamentary groups within three working days from the day on which the decision was adopted during a session or within a week of the beginning of the next session.

3. Committees and parliamentary groups may appeal against the decisions of the Board of the Seimas to the Seimas, if it is considered that the said decisions violate or restrict the rights of a Seimas Member, a parliamentary group or a committee, or have been adopted exceeding the powers assigned to the Board. Such complaints shall be considered and resolved by the Seimas, upon hearing the conclusions of the Ethics and Procedures Commission.

Chapter VII

Assembly of Elders of the Seimas

Article 35. Meetings of the Assembly of Elders of the Seimas

1. During a session, meetings of the Assembly of Elders of the Seimas (hereinafter referred to as the Assembly of Elders) shall be held regularly at a time specially allocated for this purpose.

2. Extraordinary meetings of the Assembly of Elders shall be convened at the request of the Chairman of the Seimas, the Board of the Seimas, the elder of the Assembly of Elders, or at least 1/3 of the members of the Assembly of Elders. The members of the Assembly of Elders shall be given notice of the time and agenda of extraordinary meetings at least 6 hours prior to the beginning thereof.

3. Meetings of the Assembly of Elders shall be presided over by the elder whose duties, according to the schedule approved by the Assembly of Elders, shall be executed in turn by the elders of each parliamentary group for one week. An opening meeting of the Assembly of Elders held during the first session shall be presided over by the eldest parliamentary group elder.

4. Issues for consideration by the Assembly of Elders, which are within its competence, may be proposed and submitted to the Chancellor of the Seimas by the members of the Assembly of Elders, the Government, as well as by other Seimas Members who submit draft laws. A draft agenda of the Assembly of Elders shall be drawn up by the Chancellor of the Seimas according to these proposals.

5. Other Seimas Members, permanent representatives of the President of the Republic and the Government may attend meetings of the Assembly of Elders as observers.

6. Meetings of the Assembly of Elders shall be open for representatives of the mass media.

Article 36. Powers of the Assembly of Elders

During its meetings, the Assembly of Elders shall:

1) consider and co-ordinate rising differences related to the work programme of a Seimas session;

2) consider and approve the drafts of agendas of week- or day-long sittings;

3) consider and co-ordinate proposals regarding the appointment of a principal committee or additional appointment of committees for consideration of a draft law, as well as setting of a preliminary date of consideration of a draft law at a Seimas sitting;

4) consider and co-ordinate rising differences concerning other issues of the organisation of the work of the Seimas;

5) hear the proposals of the chairmen of the committees and elders of the parliamentary groups on mutual relations between the committees and parliamentary groups, and submit proposals thereon to the Seimas or the Board;

6) submit recommendations to the Board of the Seimas concerning the resolution of issues which are ascribed to its competence;

7) perform the function of a co-ordinating (conciliatory) committee in the event of principal disagreements concerning key issues considered in the Seimas;

8) when necessary, establish to which institutions or persons the principal committee must refer a draft law for conclusions;

9) when necessary, adopt a decision to relieve the principal committee of the duties set forth in Article 147 of this Statute.

Article 37. Decisions of the Assembly of Elders

1. With the exception of decisions concerning the agendas of week- or day-long sittings and the decisions specified in subparagraphs 8 and 9 of Article 36 of this Statute, the decisions of the Assembly of Elders shall be consultative with regard to the Seimas and the Board of the Seimas.

2. Consultative decisions of the Assembly of Elders, as well as the decisions concerning the organisation of the work of the Assembly itself shall be adopted by simple majority vote of the members of the Assembly of Elders of the Seimas taking part in the meeting.

3. Decisions concerning drafts of the work programme of a Seimas session, agendas of week- or day- long sittings shall be adopted provided that they are opposed by no more than 1/3 of the members of the Assembly of Elders participating in the meeting of the Assembly of Elders.

4. If any item of the agenda is adopted by majority vote, but is opposed by more than 1/3 of the members of the Assembly of Elders, they shall be submitted to the Seimas as recommendations.

5. Decisions of the Assembly of Elders shall be recorded in the minutes of the meetings, which shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting of the Assembly of Elders.

Chapter VIII

Parliamentary Groups and Interim Groups of the Seimas

Article 38. Right to Form Parliamentary Groups and Working Procedure of the Parliamentary Groups

1. The Seimas Members shall form parliamentary groups voluntarily, not restricted by any mandates. Parliamentary groups may not be established on the basis of professional or local interests.

2. A parliamentary group shall consist of at least 7 Seimas Members. Each Seimas Member may be a member of only one parliamentary group.

3. The elder of a parliamentary group, his deputy or the member of a parliamentary group authorised by it shall have the right to represent in the Seimas such a part of the Seimas Members, established by this Statute, which their parliamentary group forms in the Seimas.

4. Parliamentary groups shall establish their own working procedure, provided that it does not contradict this Statute.

5. Parliamentary groups may join into coalitions which may act as one parliamentary group.

Article 39. Announcement of the Establishment of Parliamentary Groups

1. The Seimas Members who formed a parliamentary group shall present an application signed by them to the Chairman of the Seimas during the session. The name of a parliamentary group, as well as the names of the elder and deputy elders must be stated in this application.

2. If a parliamentary group formed by the Seimas Members complies with the requirements of this Statute, the Chairman of the Seimas must within one week announce the establishment of this parliamentary group at a Seimas sitting.

3. The Chairman of the Seimas shall be notified in writing of any changes in the name, composition or leadership of a parliamentary group, the termination of the activities of a parliamentary group or its break-up, as well as the formation of a coalition of the parliamentary groups no later than on the following working day. The Chairman of the Seimas shall announce such information at the next Seimas sitting.

Article 40. The Majority and Minority of the Seimas

1. The parliamentary groups of the Seimas whose total number of the members is more than half of the Seimas Members and which have signed a joint action declaration or coalition Government agreement shall be considered the majority of the Seimas.

2. Opposition and other parliamentary groups which do not belong to the majority of the Seimas, as well as a mixed group of the Seimas Members shall be considered the minority of the Seimas.

Article 41. Opposition Parliamentary Groups

1. Parliamentary groups of the Seimas Members or their coalitions which disagree with the Government programme may declare themselves Opposition parliamentary groups.

2. The parliamentary groups or their coalitions which proclaim in the Seimas the political declarations wherein the provisions distinguishing them from the majority of the Seimas are laid down, shall be considered Opposition parliamentary groups.

3. Opposition parliamentary groups or their coalitions shall announce alternative Government programmes.

4. Opposition parliamentary groups and their coalitions shall be guaranteed all the rights of parliamentary groups and coalitions which are provided for in the Statute of the Seimas. No reason may provide for the restriction of such rights.

5. If an Opposition parliamentary group or their coalition has more than ½ of the Seimas Members belonging to the minority of the Seimas, the elder of such parliamentary group or the head of the coalition shall be named the leader of the Seimas Opposition. The Opposition leader shall enjoy additional rights of an Opposition leader provided for in this Statute.

6. Proposals of the parliamentary groups for State institutions shall be consultative. State institutions, except courts, must discuss them and reply in writing.

Article 42. Interim Groups

1. Seimas Members may form interim groups for the implementation of common interests concerning a concrete matter.

2. Such group shall be considered to be formed when an application is submitted to the Chairman of the Seimas, signed by no less than 5 Seimas Members.

3. When considering this concrete matter, the interim group of the Seimas Members shall make use of the rights of a parliamentary group, which are specified in Articles 104, 108, and 109 of this Statute.

PART III

COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS OF THE SEIMAS

Chapter IX

Procedure for the Appointment of the Committees of the Seimas

Article 43. List of the Committees of the Seimas

The following committees shall be appointed in the Seimas:

1) Environmental Protection;

2) the Budget and Finance;

3) Economics;

4) European Affairs;

5) Rural Affairs;

6) National Security and Defence;

7) Social Affairs and Labour;

8) Health Affairs;

9) Education, Science and Culture;

10) Legal Affairs;

11) Foreign Affairs;

12) State Administration and Local Authorities; and

13) Human Rights.

Article 44. Appointment of the Committees of the Seimas

1. Seimas committees shall be formed during the first session.

2. At the beginning of each regular session, reports on the work of the committees shall be heard, as necessary, changes in the composition of the committees shall be approved by adhering to the principle of proportional representation of the parliamentary groups, or committees shall be formed anew.

3. Committees shall be made up of no less than 7 and no more than 17 Seimas Members (with the exception of the Committee on European Affairs) according to the proportional principle of representation of the parliamentary groups. The exact number of members of each committee shall be determined by a decision of the Seimas.

4. Then the Assembly of Elders shall approve the norms of representation of the parliamentary groups and the mixed group of the Seimas Members in all committees in compliance with the principle of their proportional representation.

5. The parliamentary groups and the mixed group of the Seimas Members shall distribute among themselves seats in the committees, according to the number of seats approved by the Assembly of Elders.

6. Parliamentary groups, taking into consideration the requests and competence of their members, shall recommend to the committees as many members as they are accorded seats. Applications of the parliamentary groups bearing the signatures of the recommended Seimas Members shall be submitted to the Chancellor of the Seimas.

7. The Committee on European Affairs shall be made up of no less than 15 members according to the proportional principle of representation of the parliamentary groups. The Seimas Members who are on the other committees, and members of the Board of the Seimas may be members of the Committee on European Affairs.

8. The number of substitutes for committee members shall not be restricted. Each parliamentary group shall submit their candidatures, having registered them in numerical order.

9. The composition of the committees and substitutes for committee members shall be approved by the Seimas by voting for the entire list of the committee members and the substitutes for the committee members. In the event of failure to approve the said list, the entire procedure shall begin anew.

Article 45. Powers of a Substitute for a Seimas Committee Member

1. When a committee member does not participate in a meeting of the committee, all of the said member˙s rights shall be given to the substitute for the committee members of the same parliamentary group, who attends that meeting and is the first in the established list of substitutes.

2. While substituting for a member of his parliamentary group in a given committee, the Seimas Member may not serve as the chairman or deputy chairman of that committee.

Article 46. Elections of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of a Seimas Committee

1. The committee shall elect its chairman and deputy chairman.

2. The Assembly of Elders of the Seimas shall approve proposals for the Seimas committees the representatives of which parliamentary groups should be elected chairman and deputy chairman of a Seimas committee.

3. The committee chairman and deputy chairman shall be elected from the representatives of different parliamentary groups, and the total number of chairmen and deputy chairmen of the committees accorded to the Seimas parliamentary groups must be in proportion to the number of the Seimas Members belonging to them.

4. The committee chairman and deputy chairman shall be approved by the Seimas. If the Seimas does not approve the presented candidate, the committee must select another candidate.

5. A member of the Board of the Seimas (except the case of the Committee on European Affairs), Seimas Member - Government member, the chairman or deputy chairman of a Seimas commission may not serve as a committee chairman and deputy chairman.

6. The chairman of the Committee on European Affairs shall be elected from among the members of the Board of the Seimas. The chairman of the Committee on European Affairs shall have deputies, one of which is the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The number of deputy chairmen shall be established by the Seimas.

7. The chairman and deputy chairman of a committee shall be re-elected when the committee is formed anew.

8. A committee may re-elect the chairman or deputy chairman at any other time, at the same time applying to the Seimas for approval of the new chairman or deputy chairman. In the event that the Seimas does not approve the new chairman or deputy chairman, the former chairman or deputy chairman shall remain, and the committee may apply to the Seimas concerning the same issue only during the next regular session.

Article 47. Seimas Subcommittees

1. For the execution of the main trends of activities, committees may form subcommittees from their members.

2. A subcommittee must comprise at least 5 members.

3. A sub-committee chairman shall be elected by the committee and approved by the Seimas.

4. The number of chairmen of sub-committees accorded to the Seimas parliamentary groups must be in proportion to the number of the Seimas Members belonging to them.

5. The regulations of the subcommittees shall be approved by the committees.

Chapter X

Powers and Working Procedure of the Seimas Committees

Article 48. Working Procedure of the Seimas Committees

1. The trends of activities of the Seimas committees, as well as their powers and working procedure shall be established by this Statute and other laws.

2. Seimas committees shall be responsible and accountable to the Seimas.

3. Committees must during the set time discuss and present conclusions on the matters referred to them for consideration, perform other tasks assigned to them by the Seimas.

4. Committees shall be responsible for the timely establishment of necessity of appropriate laws and other legal acts, initiation, according to their trends of activities and competence, of the preparation thereof, and the request of the comprehensive opinion, relative to the drafts thereof.

5. Seimas committees shall work in accordance with the plans approved by the committees themselves, which must be co-ordinated with the work programme of a Seimas session. Such work plans shall state the persons responsible for the implementation and time limits of the implementation. Work plans of the committees and agendas of meetings shall be publicly announced and transferred to the Chairman of the Seimas and the Chancellor of the Seimas.

6. The activities of the committees shall be co-ordinated by the Chairman of the Seimas, the Board of the Seimas in accordance with the work programmes of Seimas sessions and work plans of the committees.

7. Committees may themselves approve the rules of working procedure, which must be in compliance with this Statute.

8. In order to prepare issues which are subject to consideration, committees may form from among their members preparatory working groups. The said groups may include other Seimas Members upon their consent, as well as representatives of State institutions, parties and public organisations, experts and scientists. Funds for the experts of such groups shall be allocated in accordance with the approved estimate of expenditures of the committee.

Article 49. Powers of Seimas Committees

The main powers of the committees with respect to issues within their competence shall be:

1) to debate draft laws, prepare conclusions, and discuss issues referred to the committee for consideration;

2) on their own initiative or under the instruction of the Seimas, to prepare drafts of laws and other legal acts subject to enactment by the Seimas, and to analyse the necessity of new laws or the amendments to laws in effect;

3) to prepare and submit to the Seimas drafts regarding the harmonisation, supplementing or elimination of contradictions in laws;

4) to consider the Government programme; on their own initiative or under the instruction of the Seimas, to consider programmes of activities of the Government or other State institutions, each within its specific field, and to submit their conclusions to the Seimas;

5) to consider, within the limits of their competence, candidates for the heads of State institutions who are appointed by the Seimas or for the appointment whereof the approval of the Seimas is necessary, as well as candidates for deputy heads, and to consider the dismissal from office of the said officers;

6) to consider preliminarily a draft of a law of the Republic of Lithuania pertaining to the approval of the financial indicators of the State Budget and municipal budgets, and budget performance account;

7) to analyse and control the economic efficiency of the funds of the State Budget of the current year, consider and submit conclusions and proposals on the items and programmes of a draft State Budget for the next year, presented by the Government, on the issues within the competence of the committees, to seek rational choice of programmes and distribution of allocations for it;

8) consider proposals to form or abolish ministries and other State institutions;

9) while performing parliamentary supervision, to hear information and reports furnished by ministries and other State institutions on the manner by which the laws of the Republic of Lithuania and other acts passed by the Seimas are being implemented; on their own initiative or by the advice of the Seimas, to consider yearly reports on the activities of the State institutions accountable to the Seimas, and to present their conclusions to the Seimas;

10) to consider proposals of voters and public organisations;

11) to prepare a work plan of the committee co-ordinated with the work programme of the Seimas session;

12) prepare the estimate of the committee expenditures within the amount appropriated for the committee; and

13) to take part in the inter-parliamentary relations of the Seimas.

Article 50. Procedure of Co-operation between the Seimas Committees

1. In discussing issues within their competence, the committees shall have equal rights and obligations.

2. Issues which are within the competence of several committees may be prepared and discussed by these committees jointly on their own initiative or upon the instruction of the Seimas or its Board. For this purpose they may set up joint working groups, hold joint committee meetings which shall be presided over by the chairmen of these committees in succession.

3. The committee shall have the right to submit a proposal to the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas concerning the passing over of the issues under discussion to another committee for consideration.

4. The committee shall have the right to present its opinion on the issue discussed by another committee, as well as to ask another committee to present its conclusions, which must be submitted within 15 days.

5. While considering a draft law, the additional committee appointed by the Seimas must present its conclusions to the principal committee and the Seimas.

Article 51. Rights of a Member of a Seimas Committee

1. A committee member shall have the right of a decisive vote on all the issues under consideration in the committee. He shall have the right to propose issues for consideration, and to participate in the preparation and consideration thereof; to propose to invite necessary persons to committee meetings; to submit proposals concerning the inspection of State institutions and the hearing of their information.

2. A committee member shall have the right to get access to all documents and other material received by the committee, and, as necessary, to make use of them in his work.

Article 52. Powers of a Chairman and Deputy Chairman of a Seimas Committee

1. The chairman of the committee shall:

1) convene committee meetings and see that necessary documents and other material be prepared for them;

2) taking into account a work programme of a Seimas session, decisions of the committee, decisions of the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas or proposals of the initiators of the committee meetings, prepare a draft agenda of a committee meeting;

3) according to the approved work plans and other decisions of the committee, issue instructions to the committee members, and provide them with the material and documents relating to the activities of the committee;

4) for the execution of the work plan of the committee, organise members of the committee to work in preparatory commissions and working groups;

5) invite necessary persons to participate in committee meetings;

6) preside over committee meetings;

7) sign the resolutions, conclusions and minutes of the meetings of the committee, as well as the draft laws prepared and edited by the committee, which are submitted to the Seimas for consideration, and endorse the adopted and amended laws and other acts of the Seimas prepared by the committee;

8) represent the committee in its work with other State institutions and public organisations;

9) organise the implementation of the resolutions of the committee;

10) regularly notify members of the committee of the received draft laws, new assignments for the committee, the execution of the decisions of the committee, consideration of its recommendations, and work in representing the committee;

11) each month notify the Ethics and Procedures Commission of the members who do not attend committee meetings and who do not fulfil the assignments set forth in subparagraph 3 of paragraph 1 of this Article; and

12) co-ordinate the activities of the subcommittees of the committee.

2. Upon the instruction of the chairman of the committee, a deputy chairman shall discharge certain functions of the chairman. When the chairman of the committee is away or has fallen ill and by reason thereof is temporarily unable to fulfil the duties of office, he shall be deputised for by his deputy for the period of his absence, and in case the latter is absent too - by the committee member who is authorised by the chairman.

Article 53. Meetings of the Seimas Committees

1. During a session, regular committee meetings shall be organised not less frequently than once a week. During a Seimas sitting, committee meetings shall be organised only with the consent of the Seimas. Between ordinary Seimas sessions, there shall normally be a one-month adjournment in the work of the committees.

2. Regular and extraordinary committee meetings shall be held upon the proposal of the committee chairmen. Extraordinary committee meetings shall be also held at the request of more than one third of the committee members or upon the instruction of the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas. A preliminary agenda of a regular committee meeting shall be usually approved during the preceding committee meeting. During an extraordinary meeting, only the issues submitted by the initiators of a committee meeting shall be considered.

3. Committees may have closed meetings, when the information related to the State or commercial secret, or other information the use and furnishing whereof are restricted by law, is provided during the deliberation. Decision to hold a closed meeting is adopted by majority vote of the committee members.

4.Committee meetings and decisions adopted shall be deemed lawful when more than half of the committee members are present at the meeting. Committee meetings shall be presided over by the committee chairman or by a deputy committee chairman upon the instruction of the chairman. Prior to the Seimas˙ approval of a committee chairman, meetings shall be presided over by the eldest member of the committee.

5. In committee meetings, including closed meetings, Seimas Members who are not members of those committees may participate with the right of a deliberative vote.

6. The committees may invite to their meetings other Seimas Members, as well as members of municipal councils, representatives of ministries, other State institutions, parties, public organisations, and educational institutions, specialists, scientists and other necessary persons, having co-ordinated it with heads of these institutions or organisations.

7. Committee meetings shall be open for representatives of the mass media, with the exception of closed meetings. Following each committee meeting, a report is prepared to the Seimas Press Service, in which the essence of discussions on the issues concerned and the decisions adopted are set forth.

Article 54. Readings in the Seimas Committees

1. The committee may decide to organise special readings of the committee for preliminary discussion of a draft law and proposals and amendments submitted in regard to it when the committee carries out parliamentary scrutiny, as well as for the drawing up of draft conclusions concerning the issue under consideration.

2. Experts, representatives of the interested institutions and groups of the population, persons having the right of legislative initiative, shall participate in readings of the committee in which the proposals and amendments concerning the legal act under consideration shall be discussed. Decisions shall not be adopted during readings.

3. For the organisation of such readings and preparation of conclusions concerning the draft, the committee must appoint two responsible committee members (usually, one from the Seimas majority and one from the Seimas minority), as well as decide what experts, interested persons and public officers should be invited to readings.

4. A schedule and agendas of readings shall be publicly announced and referred to the Chairman of the Seimas and the Chancellor of the Seimas.

5. Upon a decision of the committee or at the request of the committee chairman, closed readings may be also held.

Article 55. Decisions of the Seimas Committees

1. Committee decisions shall be adopted by open, simple majority vote of the committee members participating in the meeting. In the event of a tie vote, the vote of the committee chairman shall be decisive.

2. When a member of the committee requests that voting on his proposal be conducted, the chairman of the committee meeting must put the said proposal to a vote.

3. If the minority of the committee members, which consists of at least three Seimas Members, expresses a separate opinion concerning the issue discussed by the committee, this opinion must be announced together with the decision of the committee.

4. Decisions shall be adopted in joint meetings of several committees if each committee expresses their support for the decision.

5. Committee decisions and conclusions shall be presented to the Seimas in writing.

6. For State institutions, decisions adopted by the committees shall be recommendatory. When sending their recommendations and proposals to the State institutions, committees shall inform the Chancellor of the Seimas about this and, if necessary - the Government.

7. Upon receipt of recommendations and proposals of the Seimas committees, the State institutions, except courts, must consider them. The committees must be informed about the results of such consideration and measures which have been taken within 15 days from the receipt of the proposals or within other period of time established by the committees.

Article 56. Powers of the Seimas Committees when Exercising Parliamentary Control

1. The committees shall, due to their competence, have the right to control how laws are observed and recommendations and proposals of the committees are taken into consideration; on their own initiative or upon the instruction of the Seimas, to carry out parliamentary scrutiny of separate problems; on their own initiative or upon the instruction of the Seimas, to consider annual reports of the State institutions accountable to the Seimas.

2. If a committee decides that it is necessary to hear the information of a Government member or the officer of any other State institution (except courts), the committee chairman shall notify the Government member or the head of any appropriate State institution of this. In this event, the Government member or any other officer must, not later than within two weeks (unless otherwise requested by the committee), participate in a committee meeting; if the said person fails to attend the sitting - the committee chairman shall inform the Seimas of this.

3. The committees shall have the right to demand from the State institutions, except courts, and officers documents, conclusions in writing, as well as reports and other necessary material.

4. When carrying our parliamentary scrutiny upon the instruction of the Seimas, the committees shall act in compliance with the rules of procedure of the Seimas Control Commission or ad hoc investigation commissions, set forth in Articles 75-76 of this Statute, and shall enjoy the same powers.

Article 57. Seimas Committees' Conclusions, Reports and Participation in the Seimas Discussions

1. The committee shall prepare conclusions and make reports during the Seimas sittings on issues which it prepared, conducted parliamentary scrutiny whereof, or was the principal committee while examining them, and shall prepare supplemental conclusions and make supplemental reports on the issues which were referred to the committee for additional examination.

2. Committee conclusions shall be a comprehensive description of consideration at the committee. They shall contain information on the proposals and amendments received during the consideration, experts who took part therein, amendments to the draft proposed by the committee or the conclusions made by the committee on the issue considered. The Board of the Seimas shall establish the requirements for the committee conclusions and the form thereof.

3. Committee members shall participate in discussions on all other issues according to the general procedure.

Chapter XI

Trends of Activities of the Seimas Committees

Article 58. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Environmental Protection

The trends of activities of the Committee on Environmental Protection shall be:

1) to draft laws and other legal acts, as well as proposals on the issues pertaining to environmental protection, the use of natural resources, forestry, hunting and fisheries;

2) to co-ordinate the work of the interested State institutions and other organisations in the process of drafting laws on the issues which fall within the competence of the committee;

3) to conduct an examination in terms of environmental protection of draft laws and other legal acts referred to the committee;

4) to prepare and consider proposals concerning the formation of Lithuania˙s environmental protection policy;

5) to exercise parliamentary control in terms of environmental protection of the activities of all institutions, to present proposals and recommendations for the improvement of the activities of these institutions;

6) to examine international legal acts pertaining to environmental protection, and to present proposals and conclusions to the Seimas.

Article 59. Trends of Activities of the Committee on the Budget and Finance

The trends of activities of the Committee on the Budget and Finance shall be:

1) to consider the draft State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania presented by the Government to the Seimas for approval, and to submit a review of the conclusions of all the committees;

2) to exercise general and continuous control of the State Budget execution;

3) together with other committees, to prepare conclusions regarding the accounts of the State Budget execution;

4) to prepare drafts of laws and other legislative acts, as well as proposals pertaining to the Budget and finance;

5) to prepare and present conclusions concerning the draft laws which exercise influence on the State Budget revenue and expenditure;

6) to discuss and present conclusions, as well as proposals pertaining to the draft laws on taxes and special funds, the procedure of financing institutions and organisations maintained from the budget, their expenditure standards, the standards of the formation of municipal budgets, the budget allocations for the implementation of various programmes, and for the maintenance of the Seimas and its staff;

7) to exercise parliamentary control of the use of State property and the activities of the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Lithuania, and to present proposals and recommendations relative thereto;

8) to consider draft laws referred to the committee, to prepare conclusions and to examine issues of financial accounting, accountability and audit.

Article 60. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Economics

The trends of activities of the Committee on Economics shall be:

1) to prepare and consider drafts of laws, resolutions, and proposals of the Seimas on the development and regulation of Lithuania˙s economy, the management, use, disposal and privatisation of the State property;

2) submit conclusions and proposals on the strategy, assessment of macroeconomic indicators and prognoses of the development of Lithuania˙s economy;

3) to prepare and consider drafts of laws, resolutions, and proposals of the Seimas on the legal regulation of the activities of economic entities (setting up, activities, reorganisation, competition, bankruptcy of enterprises);

4) to consider drafts of laws and resolutions referred to the Committee by the Seimas, to prepare and submit conclusions related to them;

5) to consider international legal acts pertaining to the issues within the competence of the Committee;

6) to consider and submit proposals concerning the draft State Budget submitted by the Government, on the issues within the competence of the Committee;

7) to consider and submit proposals and conclusions related to the State Investment Programme;

8) to exercise parliamentary control of institutions of management and supervision of the branches of economy (Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Economy, State Competition and Consumer Protection Office, Privatisation Commission, State Property Fund, State Pricing and Energy Control Commission, Public Procurement Office, State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate, Lithuanian Economic Development Agency), to submit proposals and recommendations concerning the improvement of the activities thereof; and to participate in the preparation of draft laws relative thereto;

9) to examine the use of the allocations for the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Economy, State Competition and Consumer Protection Office, Privatisation Commission, State Property Fund, State Pricing and Energy Control Commission, Public Procurement Office, State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate, Lithuanian Economic Development Agency, and the programmes and investment projects under the sight of the above mentioned institutions;

10) to co-ordinate the activities of the interested public authorities and other organisations in the course of preparation of draft laws and resolutions, on the issues within the competence of the Committee;

11) to co-operate with the confederations, associations and other institutions representing economic entities (employers), employees and consumer rights, on the issues within the competence of the Committee.

Article 61. Trends of Activities of the Committee on European Affairs

The trends of activities of the Committee on European Affairs shall be:

1) to consider major issues, within the competence of the Seimas, pertaining to the policy of the Republic of Lithuania in respect of the European Union, and to submit conclusions related to them;

2) to co-ordinate the activities of the Seimas committees and commissions related to the issues concerning the integration into the European Union;

3) to consider the Accession Partnership Strategy, the implementation of the National Law Approximation Programme, the Government provisions concerning major issues related to the preparation for negotiations for the membership of the European Union, other issues relating to the integration into the European Union, and submit recommendations to the Government;

4) to exercise parliamentary control of public authorities during the preparation for and upon having entered into the negotiations for the membership of the European Union; and

5) assist in ensuring democratic development of the process of Lithuania˙s integration into the European Union.

Article 62. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Rural Affairs

The trends of activities of the Committee on Rural Affairs shall be:

1) to draft laws and other legislative acts regulating the activities of agriculture and food industry, and to present conclusions on the drafts referred to the committee for consideration;

2) to draw up and consider proposals on the formation of Lithuania˙s agricultural and rural policy, the setting of the trends of agricultural science and training, and the drafting of necessary legal acts;

3) to discuss and present conclusions concerning the draft laws and programmes submitted by the Government, items in the draft State Budget pertaining to the issues of agriculture and food industry, and social problems of rural residents;

4) to carry out an examination of draft laws regulating Lithuania˙s economy in terms of agricultural and rural policy, and to submit recommendations and conclusions;

5) to exercise parliamentary control of agricultural and food industry institutions;

6) to co-ordinate the work of the interested State institutions and other departments, institutions and organisations involved in rural affairs, in the process of drawing up draft laws regulating the activities of the agricultural and food industry sector.

Article 63. Trends of Activities of the Committee on National Security and Defence

The trends of activities of the Committee on National Security and Defence shall be:

1) to consider and draft laws and other legislative acts on the issues pertaining to national defence, State security, civil defence, State border protection, and the Special Investigations Service under the Ministry of the Interior;

2) to co-ordinate the work of the interested State institutions in drafting laws and other legislative acts on the issues within the competence of the committee, as well as in the spheres related to the implementation of the Law on the Basics of National Security;

3) to consider and present proposals concerning the formation of the defence policy of the public and the State, and creation and improvement of appropriate structures;

4) to exercise parliamentary control of national defence, State security, civil defence, State border protection, and the Special Investigations Service under the Ministry of the Interior, to present proposals and recommendations on the improvement of their activities;

5) to discuss proposals and present conclusions relating to the appointment of a military attach, representatives in military missions of the Republic of Lithuania to foreign states.

Article 64. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Social Affairs and Labour

The trends of activities of the Committee on Social Affairs and Labour shall be:

1) to consider and present proposals pertaining to the formation of a State social policy in line with the European Union criteria of social development and the standard of living;

2) to consider the draft budget of the State social insurance fund presented by the Government for approval and to submit conclusions during its consideration in the Seimas concurrently with the consideration of the draft State Budget of the Republic of Lithuania;

3) to exercise general and continuous control of the execution of the budget of the State social insurance fund;

4) to draft laws and other legislative acts, and proposals on the issues of social security and labour;

5) to prepare and present conclusions on the laws which exercise influence on real income, social provision and a standard of living of the population;

6) to draft laws regulating employment, labour relations, social care and acquisition of housing by the population, and to present conclusions relative to the drafts of the said laws and other legislative acts referred to the committee for consideration;

7) to co-ordinate the work of the interested State institutions and other organisations in drafting laws on the issues within the competence of the committee;

8) to exercise parliamentary control of social security institutions, and to submit proposals and recommendations for the improvement of the activities thereof.

Article 65. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Health Affairs

The trends of activities of the Committee on Health Affairs shall be:

1) to draft laws regulating health care of the population, as well as public health and public health activities, and to present conclusions relative to the drafts of the said laws and other acts referred to the committee for consideration;

2) to co-ordinate the work of the interested State institutions and other organisations in drafting laws on the issues within the competence of the committee;

3) to consider and present proposals concerning the formation of the State health policy;

4) to exercise parliamentary control of health system institutions and other institutions related to the solution of individual and public health problems, and to submit proposals and recommendations for the improvement of the activities thereof;

5) to control the implementation of the health care reform and the process of development of the Lithuanian National Health System.

Article 66. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture

The trends of activities of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture shall be:

1) to prepare and consider drafts of laws, resolutions and other documents which regulate education, science, culture and provision of information, and to present proposals relative thereto;

2) to consider and present conclusions on draft documents, referred to the committee, which are related to the issues of education, science, culture and provision of information, as well as other projects, ascertaining whether they are in conformity with the State policy on these issues;

3) to prepare proposals and recommendations for the Government and local authorities concerning education, science, culture and provision of information;

4) to provide support to persons, organisations and institutions engaged in cultural activities;

5) to exercise parliamentary control of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Culture, and cultural institutions.

Article 67. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Legal Affairs

The trends of activities of the Committee on Legal Affairs shall be:

1) to consider and make proposals concerning the formation of State legal policy;

2) to prepare and help carry out a reform of the legal system;

3) to consider and present conclusions concerning drafts of proposed supplements and amendments of the Constitution, as well as to preliminarily ascertain whether draft laws under discussion are in conformity with the Constitution;

4) to consider and present conclusions concerning approximation of the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania to that of the European Union;

5) to prepare draft laws and proposals related to the enhancement of the effectiveness of law enforcement and to crime control, as well as co-ordinate the preparing of such drafts;

6) to consider and present conclusions and proposals concerning reforms of the system of State institutions;

7) to present legal findings concerning drafts of laws and other legal acts prepared by other committees;

8) to consider and submit to the Seimas an opinion concerning candidatures for judges and chairmen of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, for judges of other courts, prosecutors who are appointed by the Seimas or whose nomination requires the approval of the Seimas, and concerning the dismissal of judges, as well prosecutors;

9) to exercise parliamentary control of the activities of law enforcement institutions, with the exception of the courts, and to prepare conclusions and proposals related thereto;

10) to prepare and present conclusions and recommendations to the Seimas concerning the activities of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor˙s Office and other law enforcement institutions;

11) to prepare draft laws and proposals concerning the improvement of the system of State control;

12) to supervise, without interfering in operational activities, the work of the State Control of the Republic of Lithuania;

13) according to the rulings of the Constitutional Court concerning non-conformity of laws and other acts, passed by the Seimas, with the Constitution, to prepare drafts of amendments of the said laws and other acts passed by the Seimas or to submit proposals to other committees to prepare such drafts.

Article 68. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

The trends of activities of the Committee on Foreign Affairs shall be:

1) to prepare conclusions concerning the ratification and denouncement of international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as other issues of foreign policy which are considered in the Seimas;

2) to prepare and consider drafts of laws and other legal acts related to foreign affairs, and to submit conclusions thereon;

3) to exercise parliamentary control of the ministries and other governmental institutions which carry out foreign policy, submit proposals and recommendations regarding the improvement of their activities; to consider and submit proposals concerning the formations and carrying out of State foreign policy;

4) to have care of the activities of the Seimas Inter-parliamentary Relations Department, taking into account the priorities of foreign policy; to discuss the activities of the Seimas delegations in international organisations and fora, as well as the activities of inter-parliamentary relations groups, and to submit recommendations and proposals thereto;

5) to exercise control of State institutions which make the presentation of information about Lithuania meant for foreign countries, prepare conclusions and proposals relative thereto;

6) in conjunction with State and public organisations, to maintain and develop relations with Lithuanian emigrants and their organisations, as well as with the Lithuanians autochthons residing outside the Republic of Lithuania;

7) in conjunction with other committees, to consider the problems related to the regulation of migration and submit proposals and conclusions thereon;

8) to consider and submit recommendations and proposals to the Government concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations of the Republic of Lithuania and the opening of Lithuanian missions abroad;

9) to consider in advance proposals of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, submit conclusions and recommendations related to the appointment of diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Lithuania in foreign states and international organisations, as well as the recall of the said representatives.

Article 69. Trends of Activities of the Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities

The trends of activities of the Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities shall be:

1) upon the instruction of the Seimas or on its own initiative, to prepare drafts of legal acts on the issues of state government and public administration, reform of territorial structures, organisation, financing and economic independence of the work of local self-government;

2) to consider drafts of laws and other legal acts, prepare conclusions and proposals related to them, on the issues of state government, public administration, and local self-government reform, administrative division of the territory of the State, regulation of the legal relations of public service and local self-government;

3) to consider the Government programme provisions pertaining to state government, public administration and local self-government reform;

4) within the competence of the Committee, to consider and to present conclusions to the Seimas concerning the candidatures of heads of public authorities and other political officers who are appointed by the Seimas;

5) to consider the chapters of a draft law on the approval of financial indicators of the State Budget and municipal budgets, to prepare in conjunction with other committees conclusions related to the execution of the State Budget and municipal budgets;

6) to approve the proposals, submitted to the Seimas by the Government, on the administrative division of the territory of the State and the establishment of territorial boundaries of individual municipalities and counties;

7) to submit conclusions to the Seimas concerning the motivation for introducing the direct rule, and setting of the date of new elections to municipal councils;

8) to discuss the issues within the competence of the committee which have been referred to it upon the instruction of the Seimas, its Board or the Chairman of the Seimas;

9) to consider proposals of the Association of Local Authorities of Lithuania on drafts of laws and other legal acts of the Seimas which are in process of preparation, on the issues of local self-government development; and

10) when exercising parliamentary control, to hear the reports and information of institutions of state administration and local self-government pertaining to the implementation of laws of the Republic of Lithuania and other acts adopted by the Seimas in respect of the issues within the competence of the Committee, to submit to the Seimas, the Government and the Association of Local Authorities of Lithuania proposals and recommendations related to the said matter.

Article 70. Trends of Activities of the Committee on Human Rights

The trends of activities of the Committee on Human Rights shall be:

1) to prepare and consider drafts of laws and other legal acts, as well as proposals on the issues related to the guarantees of civil rights and the regulation of relations of the nationalities living in Lithuania;

2) to present recommendations and proposals to ministries, State institutions, and other organisations, as well as Seimas committees on issues concerning the protection of civil rights and the improvement of relations of the nationalities;

3) to submit proposals in a prescribed manner concerning the structure, staff and funding of the Seimas ombudsmen institution;

4) to consider complaints, opinions and proposals referred to the Seimas concerning the work of the Seimas ombudsmen;

5) as necessary, to prepare a draft resolution on the vote of non-confidence in the Seimas ombudsman and to submit it to the Seimas for consideration, as well as to submit to the Seimas conclusions regarding the draft resolutions which are prepared by other committees;

6) to consider the material submitted by the Seimas ombudsman concerning a breach of law made by ministers and other officers answerable to the Seimas, and submit its conclusions to the Seimas for consideration;

7) to consider and prepare drafts of laws and other legal acts relating to the affairs of Lithuanians residing abroad;

8) to exercise parliamentary control of the institutions which settle the issues pertaining to the ensuring of human and civil rights.

Chapter XII

Seimas Commissions

Article 71. Formation of Commissions

1. Having acknowledged the necessity, the Seimas may form a standing commission to examine special problems or to form temporary investigation, control, revision, preparatory, editorial and other commissions to examine and prepare or fulfil another mission of the Seimas.

2. If at the time of formation the term of the commission powers had not been clearly indicated, the activity of the commission shall be terminated per decision of the Seimas upon completion of the assigned tasks.

3. The number of commission members shall be established first, in forming a commission. The norms of proportional representation of the Seimas parliamentary groups, as well as the term to be proposed for candidates to commission membership shall be established after that.

4. Should the submitted list of candidates to commission membership prove to be insufficient, the parliamentary groups may each verbally suggest an additional candidate, during the meeting, and after them, also by each member of the Seimas, until the needed number of candidates shall be attained.

5. Each of the recommended candidates must agree verbally and, if not present at the meeting, submit a written agreement to work on the commission. The Seimas shall vote for the list of candidates derived thus. Should it fail to be approved, the procedure shall be repeated.

6. When candidates for commission membership are proposed during a Seimas sitting and not according to designated norms and even if at least two Seimas Members express doubt regarding any of the candidates, he shall be voted on individually. If more candidates are recommended for commission membership during a Seimas sitting, than the established number of candidates and all of the proposed candidates agree to work on the commission, an open-ballot vote shall be taken with the list of candidates included on the ballots.

7. In certain instances Seimas may establish another procedure of commission formation, however these may not consist of representatives of one parliamentary group or one committee.

Article 72. The Procedure of Forming Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commissions

1. Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commissions shall be formed for the purpose of control of how the decisions of Seimas are being implemented, collection and presentation of collected information and conclusions, required to analyse the problem at hand, as well as in other instances stipulated in this Statute.

2. Ad Hoc Control or Investigation commissions shall be formed of at least 5 persons, in accordance with the procedure established in Article 71 of this Statute.

3. An Ad Hoc Control or Investigation commission may invite the assistance of experts in various areas.

Article 73. Initiative to Form an Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission

1. The Seimas authorities, committees, parliamentary groups and a group of at least one-fourth of the Members of Seimas shall have the right of initiative to form Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commissions, if in certain instances, this has not been established in this Statute.

2. Initiators must submit to the Seimas a draft proposal of the decision on forming an Ad Hoc Control of Investigation Commission, which shall indicate the aim in forming such a commission, its tasks and powers.

3. If a group of at least one-fourth of the Members of Seimas shall submit a written demand to form an Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission, the Seimas must form such a commission in the course or its nearest sitting.

Article 74. Operating Procedure of Commissions

1. The chairman or deputy chairman of a standing commission or a commission, whose term of power extends beyond one year, shall be elected and approved according to established procedure for committees. A member of the Board of the Seimas or a Government member, may not become a commission chairman or his deputy. The Seimas shall appoint the chairman of an Ad Hoc Commission.

2. Usually, the Board of the Seimas shall approve the estimate of the commission˙s expenses and other issues relevant to its activity.

1. If the Seimas does not decide otherwise, commissions shall follow the regulations of committee work procedure, during the course of its authorisation.

4. If the term of authorisation of a commission shall extend beyond one year, it will maintain all of the rights and obligations of committees.

5. Having completed its work, the commission shall submit to the Seimas its prepared or edited draft or conclusion, which the Seimas shall approve by passing a resolution .

6. Ad Hoc Control and Investigation Commissions shall act in accordance with the work procedure established by Articles 75 - 76 of this Statute.

Article 75. The Powers and Working Procedure of an Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission

1. If an issue is being examined which is relevant to a state secret, the meetings of an Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission shall be closed to all persons excepting those who have been invited, whose list shall be compiled in accordance with the commission member desires. In other instances the Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission may hold closed meetings only upon receiving concurrence from the Seimas.

2. The data collected in the course of work by an Ad Hoc Control or Investigation Commission, that is relevant to a state secret, shall not be published.

3. The law shall establish the powers of Ad Hoc Control and Investigation Commissions.

Article 76. Decisions of the Ad Hoc Control and Investigation Commission

1. Having completed the assigned operation the Ad Hoc Control and Investigation Commission shall submit to Seimas the collected and summarised data, conclusion and prepared draft decision.

2. A resolution is passed at the Seimas sitting regarding the issue examined by the Ad Hoc Control and Investigation Commission.

3. A Seimas resolution may express no confidence in the Government, minister or head of another State institution, who is appointed by the Seimas or conclusions are presented regarding the proposed impeachment process.

4. In instances of no confidence, the requirements of Articles 218 or 222 of this Statute shall be applied in order to pass a resolution.

Article 77. Formation of the Commission on Ethics and Procedures

1. A standing Commission on Ethics and Procedures, into which at least one-tenth of the Members of Seimas may recommend one representative, shall be formed. Recommendations regarding the candidates to this commission shall be submitted to the Chancellor of the Seimas.

2. Should the Seimas fail to confirm the first and the second candidates of those recommended by the same Members of the Seimas, a third candidate recommended by them for membership in this commission, must be confirmed.

3. The Seimas shall confirm a chairman and deputy chairman of this commission from members of the Commission on Ethics and Procedures.

Article 78. Activity Trend of the Commission on Ethics and Procedures and Procedure

Trend of activities of the Commission on Ethics and Procedures shall be:

1) to prepare drafts, as well as proposals of legal acts which are related to the activities and ethics of the Seimas Members;

2) by observing ethical norms, to assist the Seimas, Seimas divisions, and Members of the Seimas in fostering democracy, to co-ordinating various points of view and convictions, to striving for moral harmony, and to humanising relations between the Members of the Seimas;

3) to supervise the observance of the Statute of the Seimas and other legal acts which regulate the activities of the Seimas Members. Upon the proposal of the Chairman of the Seimas, deputy Chairmen of the Seimas, chairmen of committees and commissions, other Seimas Members, or on its own initiative, to examine violations of these legal acts or ethics, to consider conflicts which arise between the Seimas Members, and if necessary, to present conclusions to the Seimas, the Seimas Chairman, or the Board of the Seimas;

4) to examine and present conclusions concerning procedural disagreements upon the instruction of the Seimas, the Seimas Chairman, the Board of the Seimas, the chairman of a Seimas sitting, parliamentary group;

5) to examine information presented by the law enforcement bodies of the Republic of Lithuania concerning personal activities of the Seimas Members which contradict the laws, and to present conclusions to the Seimas thereon;

6) to analyse the reasons for which Seimas Members are not participating in sittings of the Seimas and the meetings of Seimas committees and commissions and to provide information to the press concerning Seimas Members who have missed sittings without justified reason, who did not participate in voting which was announced beforehand, or who did not carry out assignments;

7) to examine the letters and proposals of voters, state institutions, and public organisations on issues concerning the activities of the Seimas Members;

8) to check whether the Seimas Members submit private interest declarations properly and on time, and to keep them;

9) based upon annual private interests declaration by Seimas Members or a request by a Seimas Member, to prepare written recommendations to be written by the Seimas Members, what measures should be employed by a Seimas Member, in order to co-ordinate his activity in keeping with the Law on the Adjustment of Public and Private Interests in Public Service and requirements of Article 18 of this Statute.

10) upon own initiative, the instruction of Chief Institutional Ethics Commission or upon receipt of a statement to the effect that a certain Seimas Member does not fulfil the requirements of the Law on the Adjustment of Public and Private Interests in Public Service and Article 18 of this Statute, may conduct an investigation into the activities of the said Seimas Member. The Chairman of the Seimas, the person who submitted the statement, the Seimas Member, whose activity was investigated and the Chief Commission of the Code of Conduct in Office shall be notified of the received statements, decision to conduct an investigation and results of the investigation. Should it be established, in the course of an investigation, that the Seimas Member did not fulfil the requirements of the Law on the Adjustment of Public and Private Interests in Public Service and Article 18 of this Statute, the Seimas shall be informed thereof;

11) to deliberate every Seimas Member˙s appeal regarding a violation of his rights, as established by this Statute and to furnish a justified reply.

Article 79. Seimas Administrative Commission

1. A standing Administrative Commission shall be formed in the Seimas dealing with working and living conditions of the Seimas Members and other matters relative thereto.

2. An Administrative Commission of the Seimas shall be formed according to the provisions set forth in Article 71 of this Statute.

3. The Seimas Chancellor shall be on this commission and shall head it as a result of his position and a member of the opposition parliamentary group shall be elected deputy chairman.

Article 80. Petitions Commission and Deliberation of Petitions in the Seimas

1. A standing Petitions Commission of the Seimas shall be formed for the purpose of examining in the Seimas petitions of Lithuanian citizens.

2. The Petitions Commission shall be formed in accordance with provisions of Article 71 of this Statute.

3. The Petitions Commission shall examine petitions addressed to the Seimas, by the citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. A special law and the Bylaws of the Petitions Commission shall determine the procedure of submitting and examining of petitions.

5. Complaints addressed to the Seimas regarding the decisions of the Petitions Commission of the Seimas shall be presented by the Chairman of the Petitions Commission in the course of a Seimas sitting. The Seimas shall adopt a reasoned Seimas protocol resolution pertaining to the issue, the draft whereof is submitted by the Chairman of the Petitions Commission.

Article 81. Parliamentary Delegations and Inter-parliamentary Relations Groups

1. The Seimas parliamentary delegations in international organisations and forums shall be formed in the same manner as ad hoc commissions.

2. Inter-parliamentary relations groups shall be formed on the basis of self determination by Seimas Members.

3. Having received the recommendation of the initiators, the Chancellor of the Seimas shall inform the Seimas Members regarding the commencement and end of joining inter-parliamentary relations groups and of the initiators of the formation thereof and shall announce the date and location of the first meeting.

4. Following the first meeting of the group in the course whereof the group chairman, deputy or assistants shall be elected, the group chairman shall announce formation of the inter-parliamentary group. Based upon a statement by the chairman of the group, the group shall be registered at the Seimas.

5. The Chairman of the Seimas shall inform the parliaments of respective states and their leaders, regarding the formation of such groups in the Seimas.

6. The Board of the Seimas, taking into consideration the intensity of the working group˙s work, importance of economic, political or moral aspects, shall support the activities of parliamentary groups: appoint the secretary of the group, finance the reception or the group˙s invited guests or visits by group members, following invitations from parliamentary groups of other states.

7. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall co-ordinate the activity of inter-parliamentary group. Chairmen of groups shall submit written information reports to the Foreign Affairs Committee, at least twice during their term in office. The Foreign Affairs Committee may hear the group chairman˙s report during a committee meeting.

PART IV

SESSIONS OF THE SEIMAS

Chapter XIII

The First Session of the Seimas

Article 82. Convocation of the First Session of the Seimas

1. The Seimas shall be deemed elected after the Central Electoral Commission announces that at least three-fifths of Seimas Members have been elected.

2. The opening sitting of the newly-elected Seimas must be held no later than 15 days after the election of the Seimas and shall be convened by the President of the Republic.

3. If the opening sitting of the Seimas is not convened by the President of the Republic, the Seimas Members shall themselves convene on the day after the expiration of the 15-day period.

Article 83. Opening Sitting of the Newly-elected Seimas

1. As a rule, the opening sitting of the newly-elected Seimas shall open at 12 o˙clock noon in the Seimas Building.

2. The opening sitting of the Seimas shall be opened by the eldest member of the Seimas. In the event that he or she is unable or refuses to open the sitting, it shall be opened by the next eldest member of the Seimas. He or she shall preside over the meeting until the election of the Chairman.

3. This shall be followed by election of the Deputy Chairmen and the Chancellor of the Seimas.

4. The youngest Member of the Seimas shall be appointed to the first vote-tallying group.

Article 84. The Work Procedure of the Seimas upon Commencement of the Opening Session

1.Upon the commencement of the opening session of the Seimas, time shall be assigned for the formation of parliamentary groups and the Assembly of Elders.

2. Thereafter, as a rule, the Seimas, in the following order, shall:

1) approve or reject the candidature for Prime Minister nominated by the President of the Republic;

2) form the committees of the Seimas and approve their respective Chairmen;

3) consider the Programme of the Government submitted by the Prime Minister and decide whether or not to approve it; and

4) draw up a work programme for the session in accordance with the procedure established by this Statute.

Chapter XIV

General Issues of Session Organisation

Article 85. Seimas Sessions

1. The Seimas shall meet biannually in two regular spring and autumn sessions.

2. The spring session shall open on March 10 and shall close on June 30.

3. The autumn session shall open on September 10 and close on December 23.

4. The Seimas may resolve to prolong a session.

5. If the day of the opening of a session is a non-work day, only one sitting shall be held on that day.

6.. The Members of the Seimas shall convene into ordinary sessions without a separate invitation.

7. In Seimas sittings, sessions shall open and close with the Lithuanian National Anthem.

Article 86. Convening of Extraordinary Sessions

1. Extraordinary sessions shall be convened by the Chairman of the Seimas on the written proposal of at least one-third of all Members of the Seimas or in cases provided for in Articles 142 and 144 of the Constitution, by the President of the Republic.

2. The Board of the Seimas must notify all of the Seimas Members of an extraordinary session at least 2 days prior to the opening of the session, except for urgent cases.

3. Only issues submitted by the initiators thereof shall be considered at the extraordinary session. The work programme of extraordinary sessions shall be approved by the Seimas.

4. The duration of extraordinary sessions may not exceed 15 days. Between extraordinary sessions the Seimas shall adjourn for at least 10 days, except for urgent cases.

Article 87. Location of Seimas Sittings

1. Sessions of the Seimas shall be held in the Seimas Building in Vilnius.

2. In the event that the Seimas cannot convene in the Seimas Building, the Chairman of the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas may temporarily assign another place for sittings to be held. All the Members of the Seimas must be notified of such a decision.

3. Having convened in a place designated by the Board of the Seimas for a sitting, the Seimas shall hear the information of the Chairman of the Seimas or the Board of the Seimas concerning the reasons which compelled them to change the place of the sitting.

Article 88. The Secretariat of Seimas Sittings

1. The Secretariat of Seimas sittings shall provide technical services during sittings and shall fulfil the related assignments of the Seimas Chairman, his or her deputies and the Chancellor. The Secretariat shall be formed of the Seimas Office staff members.

2. The Secretariat of Seimas sittings shall:

1) attend to adequate technical preparation of the sittings and provide assistance to the Seimas Members during sittings;

2) be responsible for timely presentation of material required for a sitting, to the Seimas Members and the officer presiding over the sitting;

3) register all of the Seimas Members participating in a sitting, receive applications of the Seimas Members concerning their inability to take part in a sitting during voting which has been scheduled beforehand, and inform the presiding officer as well as the Seimas Chairman and the Commission on Ethics and Procedures thereof;

4) accept written requests of the Seimas Members asking to be given the floor and deliver said requests to the presiding officer of the Seimas;

5) accept and register questions and interpellations of the Seimas Members addressed to heads of the State institutions, hand them over either to the Seimas Chairman or the Seimas Chancellor respectively;

6) during a session, accept from the Seimas Members other written statements, proposals, protests or requests and deliver them to the addressees;

7) see that translations of the work of the sitting be provided;

8) provide divisions of the Seimas office with information concerning the sitting;

9) register drafts of laws which are submitted; and

10) carry out other assignments of the Seimas Chairman, the presiding officer or the Seimas Chancellor.

Chapter XV

Session Work Programmes and Sitting Agendas

Article 89. Session Work Programme

1. The preparation of sessions, with the exception of the first session, shall be organised by the Seimas Chairman. Together with the Seimas Chancellor, the Chairman shall prepare drafts of the work programme of the session and of the agenda of sittings held during the first week.

2. The Seimas Members may obtain said drafts at the Secretariat of the Seimas Sittings 2 working days in advance of the opening of the session.

3. The Seimas Committees responsible for the issues included in the programme and the date on which an issue is planned to be presented at a Seimas sitting must be specified in the draft work programme of the session.

4. The draft work programme shall be delivered to the President of the Republic and the Government.

5. The draft of the session work programme shall be considered by the Assembly of Elders upon receiving the written proposals of the Government and the President of the Republic. The Assembly may amend and supplement the draft in the manner established in Article 37 of this Statute.

6. The draft, along with the amendments and supplements and the recommendations made by the Assembly of Elders, shall be submitted to the Seimas for debate.

7. At the first session following the election, the Seimas shall, as a rule, consider and approve the work programme at the time specified in Article 84 of this Statute. Other sessions shall open with the discussion and approval of the work programme.

8. Individual items of the work programme shall be discussed and put to vote at the Seimas according to the same procedure as the articles of laws during their passing.

9. The Seimas may later revise the work programme in accordance with the procedure established in this Statute.

Article 90. Preparation of an Agenda of Week˙s Sittings

1. In accordance with the approved work programme of the session, the Seimas Chairman, together with the Chancellor, shall prepare a detailed draft agenda of the week˙s sittings and submit it to the Assembly of Elders for debate. Proposals shall be submitted by the members of the Assembly of Elders, committees, other Members of the Seimas, and the Government.

2. The time of the sittings, the issues under discussion, the draft registration number, the stage of debate, and the speakers and extra speakers must be specified in the agenda. The Seimas must also be informed of the proposals which were not adopted.

3. If the time limit proves insufficient for analysing any of the issues during a week˙s sittings, said issues shall be included without voting in the agenda of the following week.

4. With the exception of cases specified in this Statute, issues with regard to which, in accordance with the requirements set forth in Chapter 19 of this Statute, drafts of laws, resolutions or other acts have been adequately drawn up shall be included in the week˙s agenda.

5. The Assembly of Elders shall decide at its sitting whether or not to approve each item of the presented agenda in accordance with the procedure established in of Article 37 of this Statute.

6. If a decision is passed to work one day a week, the Assembly of Elders may simultaneously present the agenda of the next day of sittings. In such a case, requirements applicable to the agenda˙s preparation, adoption and amendment shall be the same as those which apply to the preparation, adoption and amendment of an agenda of a week˙s sitting.

Article 91. Approval of the Agenda of Week˙s Sittings

1. The Draft agenda of a week˙s sittings approved at the Assembly of Elders shall be put to the vote at the Seimas sitting without preliminary discussion thereon.

2. These items of the agenda presented as recommendations by the Assembly of Elders, as well as the entire draft agenda, provided that it was not approved by vote at the Seimas, may be discussed at the sittings of the Seimas. In such a case, proposals may be submitted by the Board of the Seimas Members, committees, parliamentary groups, and the Government.

3. If, for some reason, the Assembly of Elders could not approve the draft agenda of a week˙s sittings, the Seimas Chairman may submit it to a sitting of the Seimas. In such an event, the procedure established in Part two hereof shall be applied.

Article 92. Mandatory Inclusion of Issues on the Agenda

1. At the written request of a group of at least one-third of the Seimas Members, inclusion of an issue in the session work programme or in the agenda of the week or the next day shall be mandatory, provided that the issue has been prepared and adequate provisions for its discussion have been made in accordance with the procedure established in this Statute. No more than one and a half hours shall be assigned for debating such issues unless the Seimas decides to prolong the discussion period.

2. Should the Republic President request this, the questions and reports recommended by him shall be included in the sitting agenda on a mandatory basis (without a vote).

3. The Government shall have the right to request inclusion of a Government report concerning an important issue on the Seimas sitting agenda. Upon the decision of Seimas, a discussion may follow such a report.

4. At thewritten request of more than one-tenth of all of the Seimas Members, inclusion of the discussion concerning an especially important problem in the agenda of the next day shall be mandatory. No more than 30 minutes shall be assigned for the discussion, unless the Seimas decides to prolong this discussion. After the consideration, the Seimas may instruct one of the committees or commissions to examine that problem. Only one such discussion may be carried on in the course of a single meeting.

Article 93. Agenda of Day Sittings

1. In conjunction with the Seimas Chancellor, the Seimas Chairman shall prepare, on the basis of the approved agenda of the week˙s sittings, a detailed draft agenda of every day of the sitting in which the speaker and the time of debate or voting on every issue must be provided separately.

2. The above draft agenda shall be considered and adopted at the Seimas on the day preceding the sitting.

3. In the event that the draft agenda of a day˙s sitting is approved at the Assembly of Elders, it shall not be discussed at the Seimas sitting, and it shall be immediately be put to a voter on the approval of the agenda.

4. Should the draft agenda of the day˙s sitting not be approved at the Assembly of Elders, additional proposals may be presented by members of the Board of the Seimas, committees, parliamentary groups, and the Government may present additional proposals but on condition they adhere to the approved agenda of a week˙s sittings.

Article 94. Inclusion of Additional Issues on the Agenda

1. The Board of the Seimas, the Assembly of Elders, the Government and Seimas parliamentary group shall have the right to propose inclusion of additional issues in the adopted agenda of a week˙s or a day˙s sittings.

2. A proposal may be adopted on inclusion of additional issues on the agenda, provided that it is voted for by the majority of the Seimas Members present at the sitting.

3. In the event that the proposal to include additional issues on the agenda is not approved, it may be repeatedly presented only the next day.

Chapter XVI

Sitting of the Seimas

Article 95. The Language of the Seimas Sittings

The sittings of the Seimas shall be held in the Lithuanian language. Guests, experts or witnesses who do not know the language shall have the right to speak in another language, provided they notify the Secretariat of the Seimas sittings thereof no later than six hours in advance; the Secretariat must see to it that translation is provided.

Article 96. Frequency of the Seimas Sittings

1. As a rule, four sittings a week - two on Tuesday and two on Thursday - shall be held during the Seimas session, whereas every three weeks plenary sittings of the Seimas shall be adjourned for a week.

2. On other days of the week and in the week when no plenary sittings are held, sittings of the Board of the Seimas, the Assembly of Elders, parliamentary groups, committees and commissions, as well as meetings of the Members of the Seimas with electors or representatives of local governments shall be held.

3. The preliminary schedule of the sittings of a Seimas session shall be approved by the Board of the Seimas.

Article 97. Agenda of a Evening Sittings

1. The last twenty minutes of every day˙s evening sitting shall be assigned for the statements of the Seimas Members on urgent State problems. It shall be transmitted by the State Radio.

2. Those desiring to speak shall prior to the morning sitting submit to the Secretariat of the Seimas sittings a written request. The Secretariat of the Seimas sittings shall present the received requests to the chairman of the sitting.

3. No discussion shall be held on the opinions expressed in Seimas Members statements. The Seimas may without discussion approve the Seimas Member˙s proposal to charge an appropriate Seimas committee or commission to investigate the problem. The Seimas committee or commission must start investigating this problem not later than within a week.

4. The thirty minutes of the Tuesday evening sitting is given to the Government half hour, individual Government Members, Seimas officers, heads of the State institutions appointed by the Seimas, except judges of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court, and also to replies by heads of other State institutions to the Seimas Members' questions, while the Thursday segment of the evening programme is usually allotted to the Government hour.

5. The agendas of every third Thursday evening sitting shall be drawn up by the parliamentary groups of the Opposition. The Board of the Seimas, taking into consideration the principle of proportional representation of the parliamentary groups of the Opposition, shall appoint a parliamentary group or a coalition of parliamentary groups prior to the beginning of the regular Seimas session who shall be responsible for the agenda of such sittings. In such an event, the agenda shall not be approved at the Seimas sitting, however must be submitted along with the draft agenda for the week.

6. Every Thursday, except the Thursdays indicated in paragraph five of this Article, no more than two hours shall be allotted at the end of the evening sitting for consideration of the drafts registered by the Seimas Members. Such drafts shall be put on the agenda in accordance with the order of their registration if more than one third of the Seimas Members do not object. A Seimas Member may request the Seimas to postpone consideration of the draft registered by him, however in this case, it may only be included on the agenda only at such a time when its turn has come up once again.

Article 98. Time of Seimas Sittings and Seimas Member Registration

1. The morning sitting of the Seimas shall as a rule be held from 10:00 a.m. and the afternoon sitting - from 3: 00 p.m.

2. The Seimas Members shall be registered at the beginning of every sitting and before the voting planned in advance.

3. Based upon a decision of the chairman of a Seimas sitting or at the request of a parliamentary group which is supported by at least a half of the Seimas Members participating in the sitting, the Seimas sitting may be prolonged not more than one hour, provided that the Seimas has failed to consider all issues on the approved agenda.

Article 99. Extraordinary Seimas Sitting

1. An extraordinary sitting must be held provided that its is requested in writing by the President of the Republic, one-third of the Seimas Members or the Board of the Seimas.

2. Only the issues submitted by the persons on whose initiative the meeting is held shall be considered at such a sitting.

3. The Board of the Seimas shall not less than 6 hours before the opening of that sitting inform the Seimas Members of the extraordinary sitting and issues proposed for discussion either in the course of an ordinary meeting or through the mass media.

Article 100. Chairman of a Seimas Sitting

1. Sittings of the Seimas shall be presided over by the Seimas Chairman or his Deputy.

2. The person presiding over the Seimas sitting:

1) shall, by word and by the banging of the gavel, announce the opening and closing of a sitting, and as necessary, may also announce a recess not provided for in the agenda;

2) shall attend to the order of work of the Seimas sittings, supervise that this Statute be adhered to at the sittings, control the performance of their respective duties by the group of tellers and the Secretariat of sittings;

3) shall not take part in discussions and may not in any other way influence the Seimas Members as regards the decisions which are being adopted;

4) shall grant the floor to the Seimas Members, direct the discussions, when specifying the essence of proposals may pose questions to the Seimas Members;

5) shall watch over the duration of speeches, and, if the time limit is exceeded, shall warn the speaker, and may cut him or her off after the second warning;

6) may prolong the time of a speech delivered on an urgent issue provided that the Seimas does not object;

7) may warn the speaker or cut him or her off after the second warning in the event that the speaker is speaking not to the point;

8) may also grant the floor to other persons provided that the Seimas does not object;

9) on the basis of discussion results, shall formulate questions to be put to the vote; pursuant to this Statute shall establish the voting procedure, shall announce the beginning of voting, and, in accordance with the information presented by the group of tellers or electronic voting machines, shall announce the results of the voting;

10) shall call to order the Seimas Members if they do not adhere to the Statute, make noise in the chamber, publicly insult the President of the Republic, the Seimas, the Chairman, the Seimas Members, the Government, the Prime Minister or ministers, and may submit proposals concerning the recording of the warnings in the minutes or examination thereof in the Commission on Ethics and Procedures or elimination of the Seimas Member from the chamber;

11) shall take a decision to expel from the chamber the invited persons or the correspondents if they interfere with the sitting;

12) when adopting decisions, at the request of the Seimas Members, shall announce the article of the Statute he or she is acting in pursuance of; and

13) shall sign an official report on the Seimas sitting, the minutes of the sitting, and shall also endorse the laws and other acts passed at the sitting.

Article 101. Open and Closed Sittings of the Seimas

1. As a rule, the sittings of the Seimas shall be open.

2. On the decision of the Seimas as well as at the request of Seimas Chairman, the President of the Republic or the Prime Minister, a closed sitting may be held by way of exception which, in addition to the Seimas Members, may be attended only by persons specially invited to the sitting and, as necessary, by the personnel of the Secretariat of sittings.

3. The Board of the Seimas, the Government, parliamentary groups and committees shall have the right to propose to hold a closed sitting; a justification of the proposal shall be requisite.

4. Without consent by the Seimas, neither the Seimas Members nor other participants at a closed sitting hall have the right to disseminate information regarding content of a closed sitting.

Article 102. Guests and Observers of the Seimas Sittings

1. The Seimas Chairman or the Board of the Seimas may invite the most prominent guests of the Republic of Lithuania: heads of foreign states, members of governments, heads of parliamentary delegations and international organisations, chairmen of Lithuanian emigrant organisations, to speak at the sittings.

2. Other distinguished guests may be invited as observers of the sittings of a session.

3. The President of the Republic, members of the Government, the judges of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman of the Supreme Court and heads of the State institutions formed by the Seimas may attend the sittings without a special invitation and state their opinion during discussions where issues connected with their work are considered. An entry regarding their participation shall be made in the minutes of a sitting.

4.Open sittings of the Seimas shall be public. They may be attended by all persons having permits to enter the Seimas Building. The Board of the Seimas shall establish the procedure of observation of sittings in the sitting hall.

5.Only Members of the Seimas, employees of the Secretariat of sittings and persons who have been granted the floor may be present in the front of the chamber.

Article 103. Meeting of the Seimas Members

1. The Seimas may convene a meeting of all the Seimas Members for preliminary discussion of issues; the rules of this Statute shall not be valid at such meetings. No decisions shall be adopted by the Seimas at such meetings.

2. The Seimas Members shall elect the chairman of the meeting and may establish provisional rules of procedure of the meeting.

Article 104. Reports, Speeches and Answers to Questions

1. All reports shall be read at Seimas sittings from the dais.

2. In the cases set forth in Article 106 of this Statute, the Seimas Members may speak from their seats or into the microphones installed in the chamber.

3. Speaking during sittings shall be allowed only on the permission of the presiding officer.

4. As a rule, one principal report and one additional report shall be made on every issue under consideration.

5. The duration of a report shall be fixed by the presiding officer in co-ordination with the person delivering the report. Ordinarily, reports should not exceed thirty minutes.

6. Additional reports shall be allotted a duration of up to fifteen minutes; final words and commentary on behalf of the Government or a committee shall be granted up to ten minutes; speaking on behalf of a parliamentary group - up to seven minutes, and speeches said on behalf of the speaker himself shall be given up to five minutes. If, prior to the start of a Seimas discussion a decision shall be adopted to limit the duration of discussion, the time allotted to parliamentary groups shall be divided in proportion to the size of the parliamentary groups and the parliamentary group elders shall inform the presiding officer of the sitting, which member of the parliamentary group shall speak and for how long.

7. During the presentation of the draft, a report shall be allotted ten minutes, and answers to the questions of the Seimas Members, up to ten minutes.

8. An answer to a single question may not exceed three minutes, whereas the question itself may not take longer than one minute.

9. Only one question shall be permitted at a time. A person shall be allowed to ask a second question only when it is his turn again to ask a question.

10. On the decision of the Seimas, question and answer sessions may be terminated before the fixed time, provided that at least one other Member of the Seimas supports such a proposal.

Article 105. Procedure of Organising Discussions

1. Registration of persons wishing to take the floor shall begin an hour before the first sitting of the day the issue is slated for discussion and shall close by the commencement of discussion of the issue. Upon completion of registration, the officer presiding over the sitting must announce the list of persons participating in the discussion. Registration for speaking shall be carried out by submitting applications to the Secretariat of sittings.

2. Speakers shall be granted the floor during discussions in the order in which they have registered to speak. The presiding officer may change the order for the reason of ensuring proportional representation of parliamentary groups and Committees, and for presenting arguments 'for' and 'against'.

3. A speaker may waive his or her right to take the floor. If the speaker leaves the chamber without giving prior notice to the presiding officer and is not present when called upon to speak, he or she shall be deemed to have waived his or her right to take the floor. The Seimas Members may not transfer to one another the speaking time allotted them.

Article 106. Speeches Regarding Procedure and Other Issues

1. During debates, the Seimas Members shall have the right to take the floor not more than once for every item on the agenda.

2. Questions, remarks, and speeches concerning the motives or procedure of voting, issues related to the termination of debate, and proposals to reject or postpone the issue under consideration shall constitute an exception.

3. In said cases no advance registration shall be required. However, every member of the Seimas shall have the right to make an inquiry, speech, or remark only once on each given issue on the agenda, and concerning the motives of voting - once before every voting.

4. Remarks shall be made in reaction to someone˙s speech or asking for an explanation, of something. The person presiding over the sitting shall decide whether to yield the floor for the purpose of making a remark.

5. Speaking on issues concerning procedure, termination of debate, or postponement or rejection and remarks of an issue shall have precedence over the issue under consideration. In said cases, members shall be granted the floor for no longer than two minutes after the speaker has finished his or her speech. In the cases specified in the Statute, a vote may be taken after such speeches.

6. If the speaker speaks on an issue other than the one for which he or she was granted the floor, the presiding officer may revoke his or her right to speak.

Article 107. Debates on Voting Motives

1. One may comment on voting motives after the presiding officer at the sitting announces what the vote will be taken on, and inquires, whether there are any persons present who wish to debate voting motives.

2. When a vote is taken regarding an entire issue or adopting of a draft law, not more than four Seimas Members each, may take the floor both 'in favour' and 'against' the voting motives. The presiding officer at the sitting shall extend priority to parliamentary group elders and those speaking on behalf of parliamentary groups.

3. In other instances, only one Seimas Member may take the floor 'in favour' and 'against' voting motives.

Article 108. Termination and Limitation of Debates

1. Debates shall be terminated on the decision of the Seimas, with the exception of the cases where this Statute provides for a different procedure for termination of a debate.

2. Proposals to terminate a debate may be submitted after at least two speakers have been given the floor and may be put to a vote without holding a discussion thereon, provided that at least one other Member of the Seimas supports the proposal. Prior to that, the presiding officer must announce how many persons are registered to speak and how many have already spoken.

3. Upon resolving to terminate a debate, the presiding officer must grant the floor, according to order, to one more member of the Seimas, as well as to everyone who still has the right to be granted the floor pursuant to paragraph four of this Article. In addition, the speaker may be granted the floor for concluding remarks.

4. The President of the Republic, the Seimas Chairman, the Prime Minister, and the Seimas opposition leader shall have the right to take the floor one time out of turn, in a discussion.

5. Should members of the Government, as well as one representative of a parliamentary group or a committee notify the Secretariat of the sittings of their wish to be granted the floor prior to termination of a discussion, they shall retain the right to take the floor even if it is resolved to terminate the debate.

6. The Seimas may in advance limit the general duration of debates on each issue or the number of speakers. In such cases, proposals to terminate a debate shall not be accepted.

7. Should the opposition parliamentary group object to debate termination and should its proposal be supported by one-third of the Seimas Members participating at the sitting, the debate will be continued.

Article 109. Recess in Discussion of Issue and Postponement of Debate

1. In discussing each issue, the Seimas shall take an unscheduled recess of no less than half an hour and no more than an hour, prior to the commencement of voting or the discussion of the issue may be postponed to the next sitting if the presiding officer, the principal committee, or a parliamentary group so requests and the request is supported by at least one-third of the Seimas Members present at the sitting, or the request of the opposition parliamentary group and the request is supported by at least one-fifth of the Seimas Members present.

2. In discussing an issue, such recesses and debate postponements may only be done twice. Only one unscheduled recess in the discussion of same issue may be taken during the same sitting.

3. If the Statute has been expressly violated during discussion of an issue, the committee which prepared the draft of the law or other legal act, a parliamentary group, or the Commission on Ethics and Procedures shall have the right to request that the discussion of the issue be postponed, but for no longer than one week.

Article 110. Words of a Seimas Member on a Personal Issue

1. If the conduct or words of a Seimas Member are presented in a distorted manner by other speakers, he or she shall have the right to request that the presiding officer grant him or her the floor to speak on a personal issue for up to two minutes.

2. If the presiding officer does not oblige the request, the Seimas Member shall have the right to request that the issue of whether or not he or she should be granted the floor to speak on a personal question, be put to a vote.

3. The Seimas Member shall be granted the floor to speak on personal issues at the end of the debate on the issue.

Chapter XVII

Voting and Vote Tallying

Article 111. Voting Methods and Procedure

1. Open ballot voting is conducted on issues debated in the Seimas sittings, except in instances stipulated by this Statute.

2. Laws and resolutions of the Seimas shall be adopted through voting by means of the electronic vote calculation system. Voting also takes place on individual provisions of an issue under consideration, individual articles or assertions of law, protocol decisions and session work programme, sitting agenda and other issues. Data regarding the vote of each Seimas Member is public. Upon decision by the presiding officer of the sitting, these issues may be voted upon by a show of hands.

3. Individual instructions approved by the Board of the Seimas shall establish how to use the electronic vote calculation apparatus.

4. The Seimas Members shall vote personally. The right to vote may not be transferred to other persons.

Article 112. Voting Procedure

1. The presiding officer of the sitting shall announce the commencement of voting procedure.

2. The presiding officer of the sitting must inform the Seimas Members how many votes are needed to adopt the decision.

3. There should not be any walking about while the vote is being taken.

4. No issues shall be debated prior to conclusion of the voting procedure. The floor is given only for voting motive and mode of voting, except the period when roll call vote or ballot results are being tallied.

Article 113. Decision Taking

1. Republic of Lithuania laws, Seimas resolutions and other Seimas decisions are adopted by a simple (i.e., more than one half) majority of the Seimas Members present at the sitting, with the exception of special instances stipulated by the Constitution and this Statute.

2. Decisions on protocol (included in the protocol) Seimas decisions, individual provisions of the issue being debated, individual articles of law or assertions, questions on the sitting˙s agenda procedure, are adopted by majority vote, these decisions may also be adopted without a vote (general consent) i.e., following the presiding officer˙s question: 'Are there any against?' with no one answering, and he announces: 'Adopted.'

3. At every sitting the presiding officer must, prior to the first voting and also prior to voting on an entire law or adoption of another legal act, must verify how many Seimas Members are in attendance.

4. Should the presiding officer or any parliamentary group fail to request before any voting, verification of how many Seimas Members are in attendance at the sitting, this may not be questioned later. The last count established at the sitting shall be considered the number of the Seimas Members in attendance at the sitting.

Article 114. Roll Call Voting

1. Roll call voting shall be permitted in adopting Lithuanian Republic laws, Seimas resolutions or other acts, except for personnel issues, provided that one of the parliamentary groups shall request this and support it by at least one-third of the Seimas Members present at the sitting.

2. Such a request may be set forth by the representative of a parliamentary group only upon conclusion of a debate on an issue and prior to voting on the entire draft.

3. In such a case, ballot papers for roll call voting shall be distributed to the Seimas Members prior to the commencement of voting; upon receipt of the said ballot papers, the Seimas Members shall sign the record of the issued ballot papers.

4.The presiding officer shall announce the time of commencement and completion of roll call voting. Information regarding this shall be announced throughout the Seimas Building.

5. Prior to the commencement of roll call voting, the elder of any parliamentary group may request a postponement of the vote. In this case the presiding officer shall accurately indicate for how long the voting has been postponed, and this voting must take place not any later than the end of the next day of sittings. In this manner the voting may only be postponed once.

6. Upon announcement of voting commencement, every Seimas Member shall fill in the ballot paper, sign it, and hand it over to the tellers˙ group.

7. The ballot papers shall be no longer issued or accepted after the expiry of the time set for voting.

8. Upon tallying the votes, the presiding officer shall announce the vote of every Seimas Member.

Article 115. Secret Balloting

1. Issues concerning the election of the Seimas Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, Seimas Chancellor, decision on non-confidence in the Government, the Prime Minister or an individual minister, non-confidence in any officer of the Seimas or dismissal of the head of a State institution appointed by the Seimas, as well as when a vote shall be taken on formulations of the charge during the impeachment proceedings shall be voted on only by secret ballot.

2. An issue concerning appointment of the Constitutional Court Judges shall also be voted upon by secret ballot.

3. On the decision of the Seimas, other personal issues may also be voted on by secret ballot.

4. Secret balloting shall be done during recess of sitting.

5. Ballot papers shall be stamped and distributed by the tellers˙ group. Upon receiving their ballot papers, the Seimas Members shall sign the record of issued ballot papers.

6. There must be a secret voting booth and ballot box in the voting place. The ballot box must be put in such a way that, upon approaching it, the members casting their votes would have to cross the secret voting booth.

Article 116. Open Ballot Voting

1. Voting shall be done by open ballots when it is necessary to elect several candidates to some posts from a larger number of candidates and when it has not been resolved to vote by secret ballot.

2. In open voting, the procedure for voting and establishing the results shall be the same as in voting by secret ballot except that secret ballot voting booths shall not be used, and ballot papers shall be filled out in the chamber.

3. It is not necessary to sign the ballot papers.

Article 117. Ballot-papers

1. A standard ballot-paper for secret and open voting shall be approved by the Seimas prior to voting.

2. Issues concerning the dismissal of some officer or declaration of non-confidence in an officer shall be voted on with ballot-papers on which the propositions of: 'Confidence' and 'Non-confidence' or 'To relieve of his post' and 'Not to relieve of his post' shall be inscribed.

3. With one ballot-paper it is only possible to vote on either the dismissal of one officer or the declaration of non-confidence in a collective institution or one of its members, or the removal of an officer from his post.

4. On one ballot-paper it is only possible to write the surnames, in alphabetical order, of candidates to the same post.

5. In all cases, ballot-papers must have a heading which clearly indicates the issue being voted upon.

6. On the ballot-paper, the member casting his or her vote shall cross out the surname of the candidates against whom he or she is voting or the proposition which he or she does not accept.

7. Ballot-papers which are not of the approved sample or unstamped, as well as ballot-papers on which more surnames than the number of officers being elected or more than one proposition given for election remains, shall be deemed invalid.

8. Additional surnames and propositions which are written in shall not be counted.

9. The record of calculation of votes by ballot-papers shall be signed by the chairman of the tellers˙ group and the presiding officer.

10. Voting ballot-papers shall be preserved in the Seimas archives until the end of the term of office of the Seimas.

Article 118. Putting Issues to the Vote

1. One proposition or two alternative propositions may be presented to be voted upon. In the first instance, the vote shall be taken 'for', 'against' or 'abstain'. In the second instance, the vote shall be taken 'for the first proposition' or 'for the second proposition'.

2. Alternative propositions shall be voted upon in the order in which they were presented for discussion. Should there be more than two propositions, the presiding officer must group them according to purport so that they are all decided upon after several votes for one or two propositions.

3. The proposition which collects the most votes shall be adopted provided the necessary majority of votes is collected; otherwise, it shall be presented for additional voting to confirm the decision.

4. Should this fail to be accomplished, the Seimas Members may either propose a compromise or postpone the issue.

5. At his or her own initiative or at the request of at least two Seimas Members, the presiding officer shall divide the issue being put to the vote into two.

6. The decision to postpone an issue shall be voted on before voting on the main point of the issue.

7. Numbers shall be voted on in increasing order. If necessary, the presiding officer may change the order of voting provided those who made the proposals do not object.

Article 119. The Vote Tellers Group

1. When the electronic tallying system is not being used, the tellers˙ group shall organise the voting and count the votes.

2. The tellers˙ group shall also assist the presiding officer in checking how many Seimas Members are present in the chamber, and in revising registration thereof.

3. Members of the tellers˙ group shall vote according to the general procedure.

4. The Seimas shall alphabetically appoint the tellers˙ group for the period of one month upon the proposal of the Seimas Chancellor. The group may not be made up solely of the members of one parliamentary group.

5. The Members of the Board of the Seimas, chairmen of committees and commissions, elders of parliamentary groups, and members of the Government shall not be assigned to the tellers˙ group.

6. The tellers˙ group shall elect a chairman from its members.

7. The Seimas may declare non-confidence in the tellers˙ group or one of its members by majority vote of the Seimas Members present at the sitting. In such an event, a new group or group member shall be appointed.

8. Upon the decision of the presiding officer or the request of a parliamentary group which is supported by no less than 1/3 of the Seimas Members present at the sitting, the voting which took place before the declaration of non-confidence may be repeated.

Article 120. Announcement of Voting Results

The results of voting shall be announced by the presiding officer based on the information provided by the tellers˙ group or by the indicators of the electronic tallying system.

Article 121. Repeat Voting and Postponement

1.Before another item on the agenda has begun to be discussed, voting carried out by raising hands or by using the electronic system may be repeated if doubts have arisen regarding vote tallying accuracy and if so requested by the Chairman of the Seimas, presiding officer or a parliamentary group and at least five Members of the Seimas participating at the sitting. The decision to repeat the voting shall be adopted by the presiding officer.

2. The vote calculation group shall also have the right to request that voting be repeated, if it admits that it has miscalculated votes in tallying them.

3. Voting shall be also repeated when exactly a half of the voting Seimas Members has voted for the submitted proposal.

4. Should one obvious violation of individual voting be established, the vote shall be repeated per request of the presiding officer or a parliamentary group, even after deliberation of another agenda issue has been started.

5. The elder of any parliamentary group may request the postponement of a repeat vote, prior to its commencement. In this case, the presiding officer shall adjourn the voting for not more than 30 minutes or less than 15 minutes.

6. Voting on procedural issues may not be postponed.

7. The voting on issues under deliberation may only be postponed once.

Chapter XVIII

Official Registration and Publication od Seimas Documents

Article 122. Minutes of the Seimas Sittings

1. Minutes of the Seimas sittings shall be compiled and published by the Documentation Department of the Seimas, and shall be signed by the presiding officer. The minutes of closed sitting shall not be published and shall be kept in accordance with the procedure established by the Seimas Board.

2. Issues which are discussed, speakers, adopted resolutions, and voting results shall be recorded in the minutes. The full texts of protocol resolutions adopted during sittings shall be recorded in the minutes.

3. Supplementary materials (data concerning the registration of the Seimas Members, results of voting by roll call and results of a vote on the adoption of legal acts, statements of the Seimas Members, etc.) shall be appended to the minutes.

4. Minutes shall be distributed to Committees and parliamentary groups no later than the next workday after the sitting.

5. The Seimas Members may state their claims concerning the minutes at the end of the morning sitting on the next day of the Seimas sittings. If there are disputable questions, the Seimas shall adopt a decision thereon by simple majority vote of the voting members after a brief explanation by the officer who presided over the previous sitting.

Article 123. Verbatim Records of Seimas Sittings

1. The Documentation Department of the Seimas Office shall compile and publish verbatim records of the Seimas sittings. Their originals shall not be edited and shall be preserved in the Documentation Department and subsequently transferred to the Seimas Archives. Verbatim records shall be recorded on computer record media.

2. Members of the Seimas and other persons who were granted the floor during a sitting shall have the right to check, within 2 days after the Seimas sitting, the verbatim records of their speeches edited for publication. Upon checking the text against the tape-recording, they may revise the edited version of the verbatim record of their speech provided that they do not change the essence of the speech. If the speaker does not present any claims concerning the text of the verbatim record, it shall be assumed that he or she agrees with the text.

3. In the event of disputes or misunderstandings concerning the edited text of a prepared for publication verbatim record, a decision thereon shall be adopted by the presiding officer of the respective sitting.

4.Verbatim records of closed sittings shall not be published and will be kept in accordance with the procedure established by the Seimas Board.

5. Mass media representatives may obtain texts of speeches given during Seimas sittings through the Press Service no later than within a 24-hr- period from the sitting during which the speech was given. Verbatim records of Seimas sittings shall be printed in a special issue and publicly disseminated.

Article 124. Minutes of Board of the Seimas and Assembly of Elders Sittings

1. Minutes shall be taken at sittings of the Board of the Seimas and Assembly of Elders; no verbatim records shall be taken of the above sittings.

2. Participants in the sitting, issues which are discussed, speakers, adopted resolutions, and voting results shall be listed in the minutes.

3. The minutes shall be signed by the chairman of that sitting.

4. Seimas Members shall familiarise themselves with said minutes through Committees and parliamentary groups.

Article 125. Minutes of Seimas Committees and Commissions

1. Seimas committees and commissions shall take minutes at their own sittings according to the regulations established by the Seimas Board.

2. Committee and commission resolutions, conclusions, and minutes of sittings shall be signed by committee and commission chairmen.

3. The minutes of sittings of committees and commissions, except those of closed sittings, shall be public.

4. Upon the completion of the calendar year, the minutes of sittings and other documents of committees and commissions shall be transferred to the Seimas archives according to the procedure established by the Seimas Board.

5. All documents of the ad hoc commission must be transferred to the Seimas archives within 10 days of the expiration of the authorised period of said commission.

Article 126. Submission of Drafts for Public Consideration

1. Draft laws submitted for public consideration shall be published in the press using State funds.

2. In publishing such drafts, the names of the persons who prepared and initiated them must be indicated.

3. Draft laws given over to be published must be signed by the chairman of the committee to which the draft was given for preparation as well as by the Seimas Chancellor.

Article 127. Signing and Endorsement of Acts Adopted by Seimas

1. Adopted laws of the Republic of Lithuania prior to being given to the President of the Republic to be signed, and other acts of the Seimas prior to being given to the Seimas Chairman to be given endorsements or signed within 7 days of their adoption, shall be presented together with the endorsements of the chairman of the principal committee, as well as of the speaker who participated at the moment of the adoption and of the authors of the adopted amendments and supplements.

2. Adopted laws which have an endorsement from the Seimas Chairman shall be given to the President of the Republic within 24 hours to be signed.

3. The Seimas Chairman or a Deputy Seimas Chairman, authorised by him, shall sign acts adopted by the Board of the Seimas after they have been given an endorsement by the Seimas Chancellor.

4. Upon signing an act, the Seimas Chairman shall transfer said act to the Seimas Chancellor to be promulgated.

Article 128. Publication and Coming into Force of Seimas Adopted Acts

1. Laws and other documents of the Seimas shall be promulgated and shall become effective pursuant to the Law 'On the Procedure of Publication and Coming into Force of the Laws and other Legal Acts.'

2. Laws signed by the President of the Republic as well as resolutions of the Seimas shall be sent to the Government, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the State Controller, and as necessary, to heads of other State institutions as well as to local governments at least within 3 working days after their signing.

Article 129. Seimas Seals

1. The Seimas shall have the Great Seal which is 38 mm in diameter and the small seal which is 27 mm in diameter, each displaying the Lithuanian State Emblem.

2. The Seimas Chancellor shall be responsible for the use and preservation of the Seimas seals.

3. The Great Seal of the Seimas with the Lithuanian State Emblem shall be imprinted on the laws, resolutions and other official documents of the Seimas, as well as on documents, international treaties and other documents signed by the Seimas Chairman which are sent to institutions of State power and government of foreign states.

4. The Small Seal of the Seimas with the Lithuanian State Emblem shall be imprinted on the identification certificates and other official documents signed by the Seimas Chairman, his or her deputies, or the Seimas Chancellor.

Article 130. The Right to Speak on Behalf of the Seimas, Seimas Committees and Seimas Commissions

1.The Seimas Chairman, his or her deputies, and the Seimas Chancellor shall have the right to speak on behalf of the Seimas.

2. The Seimas may also authorise heads of delegations to the international organisations who are appointed by the Seimas and a Seimas Spokesperson for the press to speak on behalf of the Seimas.

3. Chairmen of Seimas committees or commissions, their deputies, and authorised committee members may speak on behalf of their respective committees or commissions.

Article 131. Broadcasts of Seimas Sittings

The procedure of coverage and broadcasts of Seimas sittings by the Lithuanian Radio and Television shall be established by an agreement between the Seimas Board and Lithuanian Radio and Television.

Article 132. Press Conferences

1. The Seimas Press Service shall organise press conferences of Seimas Members for journalists.

2. Usually press conferences of the Seimas Members who represent the Opposition parliamentary groups shall be held not less than 2 times a week.

3. The Seimas Office shall supply the journalists accredited in Seimas with work-related documents.

Article 133. Official Reports on Seimas Activity

Official reports on the activity of the Seimas, Seimas Board, Assembly of Elders, committees and commissions shall be prepared and published according to the procedure established by the Seimas Board.

Article 134. Registration of Documents and Information Material on Seimas Activity

1. Documents prepared by Seimas Members (or received from elsewhere) and proposed to be distributed, which are intended for all Members of the Seimas, committees or parliamentary groups shall be distributed by the Secretariat of the sittings.

2. The documents must be registered at the Secretariat of the sittings and must be signed by at least one member of the Seimas.

3. The procedure for submitting, registering and distributing drafts of laws and other standard acts shall be established in Chapter 19 of this Statute.

4. Information concerning the activities of the Seimas shall be prepared and, as necessary, presented to the Seimas Members by the Seimas Information and Analysis Service.

5. In order to better inform the public, the Seimas Publishing House 'Valstybës þinios' shall issue the Seimo kronika (Chronicle of the Seimas). It shall contain descriptions of Seimas sittings, a list of the enacted laws, voting results, summaries of Seimas Members˙ statements, directives of the Seimas Chairman, decisions of the Board of the Seimas, committees and parliamentary groups, newly registered drafts of legal acts and other important information concerning the activities of the Seimas.

PART V

LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE

Chapter XIX

Registration of Drafts of Laws and other Seimas Acts

Article 135. Requirements of Draft Submitted for Registration

1. Drafts of laws and of other acts of the Seimas, as well as the proposal concerning the legislation thereof, shall be submitted to the Seimas for consideration by the institutions and persons who, pursuant to the Constitution, have the right of legislative initiative.

2. Submitted drafts and proposals must be signed by the initiators. When the draft law is submitted to the Seimas by Lithuanian Republic citizens in accordance with the right granted them by the Constitution, it shall be signed by representatives of the initiators and also, collected signatures of citizens shall be presented together with the draft.

3. A covering letter shall be submitted together with the draft law wherein, the following shall be set forth:

1) the objectives and goals of the prepared draft;

2) the current legal procedure in accordance with which the issues considered in the draft law are being regulated;

3) what new provisions of legal regulation are planned, the positive qualities of the newly regulated issues, and the positive results which are foreseen;

4) possible negative consequences of the enacted law and the measures which should be applied in order to avoid said consequences;

5) the incorporation of the draft law into the legal system, which legal acts in said sphere shall remain valid (a list of said acts shall be presented), and which of the valid legal acts must be amended or repealed upon adoption of the draft;

6) whether a draft law is in conformity with the provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the documents of the European Union;

7) in the event that the subordinate legislation is required for the implementation of the law, who should prepare it and when, as well as the guidelines of said subordinate legislation;

8) amount of funds the implementation of the law will require, or will allow to save, from the budget (assessments to be supplied for next year and subsequent future);

9) the evaluation and findings of specialists obtained during the period that the law was drafted;

10) author or group of authors of the draft law, draft law initiators: institution, persons or representatives authorised by citizens;

11) significant words of the draft law, which are necessary for the to inclusion of this draft in the computer search system;

12) other substantiations and explanations which the initiators feel are necessary.

4. Initiators of draft laws shall attach a comparative variant of a submitted draft of amendments of a law, in which the essence of amendments is set forth, to a covering letter. New amendments in the text of a new version of an article (its paragraph or item) shall be printed in boldface, and the words proposed to be struck out shall be crossed out with a thin line. Provided that an article (its paragraph or item) is proposed to be basically amended, the text of the former version (crossed out with a thin line) and the new version of an article (its paragraph or item) shall be presented. Provided that the whole article (its paragraph or item) is proposed to be declared invalid, the number of the article (its paragraph or item) proposed to be declared invalid shall be specified in the essence of the amendments, and the whole text (crossed out with a thin line) of such article (its paragraph or item) shall be presented.

5. A draft law or resolution on the implementation procedure of this law shall, as needed, be submitted with the draft law.

6. The requirements of this paragraph, with the exception of those regarding a covering letter, shall be applied to all draft laws and other normative acts of the Seimas (further in this chapter - draft laws), except in the special instances stipulated by this Statute.

Article 136. Registration of Draft Law and Subsequent Activities

1. All submitted draft laws and proposals shall be registered in the register of draft laws and proposals received by the Secretariat of the Seimas sittings.

2.When registering, a standard title page of the draft and a form shall be filled in, all of the persons who prepared or initiated the draft shall be specified, and the documentation presented thereby. The draft shall be indexed in accordance with the classifier of the areas of legislation.

3. During the consideration and further preparation of a draft, all new versions thereof as well as the conclusions, amendments and supplements which have been put forward and the names of the persons who submitted them, shall be presented to and registered by the Secretariat of the sittings.

4. All of the above shall be executed as a covering letter of the draft and shall be distributed together with the draft and the explanatory letter.

5. The Legal Department of the Seimas Office shall furnish within seven working days of the date of receipt thereof, conclusions on whether or not the draft is in conformity with the laws which are already in effect, and whether or not it corresponds to the technical rules of law-making, and whether or not the covering letter conforms to the requirements of paragraph three of Article 135 of this Statute. If this is a large-scale draft, the Seimas Chancellor shall have the right to extend this period.

6. Together with the above conclusions, the registered draft law shall be handed over to the Seimas Chancellor.

7. If a draft law is submitted by Seimas Members or the President of the Republic, or citizens, it shall be transferred to the Legal Bureau under the Government which shall, within 10 working days of receipt thereof, work out conclusions whether or not this draft is in conformity with the European Union Law. If this is a large-scale draft, the Seimas Chancellor may extend this period, but not exceeding one month.

8. The Seimas Chancellor shall, within 3 working days, refer the draft law together with the covering letter, and conclusions of the Legal Department and the Legal Bureau under the Government to the Seimas Chairman, committees, parliamentary groups, the Government and the Office of the President of the Republic and, when necessary, to appropriate local authorities.

9. The Members of the Seimas shall also be notified of the draft in issues of the Seimo kronika and Valstybës þinios.

10. Draft amendments of laws and other legal acts together with a covering letter shall be, as a rule, delivered to Seimas Members not later than one working day prior to their presentation at a Seimas sitting.

Article 137. Consideration of Several Draft Laws Concurrently and Alternative Drafts

1. In the event that a draft law is submitted together with amendments to the Constitution, both drafts may be considered concurrently; however, a vote shall first be taken on the Constitutional amendments in accordance with the procedure for amending the Constitution.

2. Drafts of laws on the amendment, supplement or repeal of other law requisite upon the adoption of the proposed draft law shall also be discussed together with said draft law.

3. If several alternative drafts of one law have been received, they shall be concurrently considered during the discussion in the Seimas Committe and at the sitting of the Seimas, and one of said drafts shall be selected.

Article 138. Preliminary Conclusions on a Draft Law by Seimas Committee and Government

1. The Seimas Chairman, the Board of the Seimas may refer a draft law to one of the committees to make a preliminary analysis and to prepare conclusions.

2. As necessary, the Seimas Chairman, the Board of the Seimas may, on their own initiative or on the recommendation of the committee, request that the Government present to the Seimas its conclusions concerning the draft under consideration.

3. In this and other instances the Government shall present conclusions to the Seimas within two weeks.

Article 139. Circumstances under which a Draft Law is not Submitted for Deliberation by Seimas

1. The Seimas Chancellor shall not present draft laws for consideration in the Seimas if the Seimas Legal Affairs Committee comes to the conclusion that the laws are not in conformity with the Constitution and no draft amendments to the Constitution have been presented in the established manner.

2. In the event that the same draft law or another draft law of analogous content has been rejected by the Seimas within the last 6 months, such a draft shall not be accepted for repeat consideration.

3. Draft laws submitted by entities who are not vested with the right of legislative initiative shall be registered, but shall not be forwarded for consideration; however, competent committees shall be familiarised therewith.

4. In all of the above cases, drafts with a corresponding endorsement of the Seimas Chancellor shall be returned to the Secretariat of the sittings; at the Secretariat, the draft shall be recorded in the register of rejected draft laws and proposals and shall thereafter be sent to the Seimas archives. An announcement to this effect must be made in the Seimo kronika, and the person who presented the draft must be notified thereof.

5. In instances when a draft law is presented to the Seimas by citizens, the Chancellor of the Seimas must submit this draft before the Seimas, without considering all of the requirements listed therein.

Article 140. Initiators' Right to Recall Draft Law

1. The initiators of a draft law shall have the right to recall said draft before it is considered at a sitting of the Seimas. Said persons must immediately notify the Seimas Chancellor of the decision in writing, and the Chancellor must notify the Seimas.

2. The recalled draft law shall be returned to the Secretariat of Sittings along with the Chancellor˙s endorsement, where it shall be registered in the returned draft and proposal register and transferred to Seimas Archives.

3. However, in the event that the draft law recalled by the initiators is officially supported and submitted no later than the next day by another entity vested with the right of legislative initiative, the consideration procedure of such draft shall be continued. The above provision shall not be applied to drafts of laws submitted by the President of the Republic or the Government.

Chapter XX

Presentation of Drafts of Laws and

other Standard Acts at seimas Sittings

Article 141. Procedure of Presenting a Draft

1. A draft of a law or any other standard act shall be presented at the sitting of the Seimas by the initiator (Seimas Member, Government member, representative of the Republic President or citizens˙ representative ), who shall give a brief (maximum of 10 minutes) characterisation of the draft and shall answer questions of the Seimas Members (up to 10 minutes).

2. Thereafter, the presiding officer shall familiarise the members with the conclusions of the Legal Department of the Seimas Office and also of the Seimas committees and conclusions of the Government and the Bureau of European Law under the Government, provided that such conclusions have been received, and shall put proposals to the vote.

Article 142. Drafts Presented by Citizens

A draft law presented by citizens must be submitted at a Seimas sitting no later than one week following registration thereof during a session of the Seimas and, if registered between Seimas sessions, during the initial sitting of the other session.

Article 143. Decisions on Submitted Draft

1. The Seimas shall adopt one of the following decisions concerning the submitted draft of a law or any other standard act:

1) to commence the procedure of consideration of the draft;

2) to postpone the procedure of submitting the draft and to specify the actions to be taken by the initiators prior to repeatedly submitting the draft to the Seimas; and

3) to reject the draft specifying the motives of rejection.

2. If the Seimas decides to commence the procedure of consideration, a decision may be taken on whether to publish this draft for public consideration.

3. All decisions on the presentation and consideration of a draft law at the sitting of the Seimas shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of those present and voting, with the exception of decisions to reject a draft, or to publish a draft for public consideration, which shall be adopted provided that the majority voting in favour thereof comprises at least 1/4 of all the Seimas Members..

4. If the Seimas decides to commence the procedure of consideration, a decision may be taken whether to apply the urgency procedure or the special urgency procedure.

5. Application for the urgency or special urgency procedures shall be established in Chapter 24 of this Statute.

Article 144. Activities Following Decision to Commence Procedure of Draft Consideration

1.The consideration procedure shall consist of the following: consideration at the principal committee, consideration at the sitting of the Seimas, and passage.

2. Upon deciding to commence the procedure of consideration of a draft law, the Seimas must at the same sitting set an approximate date of consideration at the sitting of the Seimas (no earlier than after a week, and no later than by the end of the session), and the principal committee and additional committees for further consideration or improvement of the draft. The proposal concerning the date of the preliminary consideration, the principal committee and additional committees shall be deliberated and approved and submitted to the Seimas by the Assembly of Elders.

Article 145. Mandatory Conclusions Regarding Draft Law

In the event that funding related to the adjustment of the State Budget is required for the implementation of the law, the proposals of the initiators of the draft and the conclusions of the Committee on Budget and Finance and the Government concerning the possible sources of funding must be presented during further consideration of the draft and the draft law of the amendment on the State Budget which is being considered, must be submitted as well.

Article 146. Draft Laws Submitted for Referendum

If an initiative group for the announcement of a referendum on the provisions of the law has been formed, the issue shall be considered at the next Seimas sitting during the Seimas session after it has been confirmed that the required number of signatures has been collected. Representatives of the initiators of the referendum shall be invited to attend the sitting.

Chapter XXI

Consideration of Draft Laws in the Principal Committee

Article 147. Preparedness of Principal Committee to Consider the Draft of a Law

1. The committee which has been appointed by the Seimas as the principal committee for the consideration of the draft of a law, in respect whereof the consideration procedure has been commenced, must, within one week, discuss at a sitting the preparedness to examine the draft in the committee.

2. For the above purpose, responsible committee members and experts (as a rule one from the Seimas majority, one from the Seimas minority) shall be assigned, what expert opinions must be heard shall be established, additional conclusions may be requested of other committees or State institutions, up to what date other concerned persons may submit to the committee remarks, proposals and amendments shall be established, and when conclusion preparers must submit to the committee a first draft of conclusions and other preliminary decisions to be adopted.

3. Persons having the right of legislative initiative for publication of laws, may submit remarks and proposals up to at least 2 hours time prior to the principal committee meeting, wherein the consideration of the draft of the committee˙s conclusions shall commence.

4.Should the principal committee decide to return the draft law to the initiators for revision, persons having the right of legislative initiative, may submit remarks and proposals for revision of draft law, according to the same procedure.

5. If the committee is charged to revise the draft, a working group may be formed for said purpose.

6. As necessary, the committee may also discuss issues concerning the preparedness to consider the draft at other sittings.

7. The principal committee must publish in the press according to the procedure established by the Seimas Board, the information regarding up to what time the committee shall await proposals and remarks of interested persons and how it would be possible to acquaint oneself with the text of the draft law. The principal committee must send the draft law to all interested State institutions and, as necessary, to public organisations, local governments, political parties and organisations, in order that said institutions and organisations could send their evaluations. The Seimas Board or Assembly of Elders may establish to which institutions or persons the draft must be sent, or may relieve the principal committee of the principal committee˙s obligations established in this paragraph.

8. All of the material received concerning the draft law shall be evaluated and summarised by the principal committee.

9. If a draft law has been presented to the public for consideration, the proposals received shall be referred to the principal committee.

Article 148. Hearings during Draft Law Deliberation in the Committee

1. Following the expiration of the time limit for submitting remarks and proposals on a draft law, all of the remarks obtained from interested persons and experts may be deliberated in principal committee hearings, to which participation of all remark and proposal presenters shall be invited. The hearings shall be organised by preparers committee conclusions. Results of deliberations shall be marked in conclusions of the draft.

2. After the deliberation of the remarks and proposals of interested persons shall be completed in hearings, if many remarks, proposals and amendments are received from persons who have the right of legislative initiative, there may be hearings designated by the committee, in which shall be discussed the remarks and proposals regarding the draft law, of Seimas designated additional Seimas Committees, Seimas Members, the Government and Republic President. These remarks and proposals may be presented by the authors thereof with no less than 2 hours remaining before the meeting of this committee.

3. It shall be possible not to hold hearings during draft law deliberations in the committee if the amendments and remarks which have been received shall only be a few in number, in which eventuality all the authors of amendments and remarks shall be invited to attend the committee meeting, in which the draft law is being deliberated in accordance with Article 149 of this Statute.

Article 149. Deliberations in the Principal Committee of Draft Law

1. The draft law and the committee conclusion draft must be considered by the principal committee no later than 3 workdays prior to the consideration thereof at a sitting of the Seimas. The time and place of such deliberations must be publicly announced to the Seimas Members, Government and Republic President˙s Office at least 2 working days prior to the committee meeting. Concurrently, the Secretariat of the sitting must be supplied the draft law and a draft of the committee˙s conclusions amended and signed by the preparers of committee conclusions, in accordance with the results of the deliberation hearings, which shall include an indication of what amendments and proposals have been received from additional committees, experts, interested persons and persons having the right of legislative initiative, and which remarks and proposals are being considered and which are not and why and how is the draft law proposed to be amended.

2. Only those submitted proposals and remarks regarding the draft law of persons having the right of legislative initiative, which had been submitted no later than 2 hours prior to the committee meeting will be deliberated at the committee meeting.

3. Representatives of the initiators of the draft, representatives of the committees which are preparing additional conclusions, and experts confirmed by the committee as well as persons having the right of legislative initiative who have submitted amendments to the draft law shall be invited to the deliberations by the principal committee. Said persons must be granted the floor at the meeting of the committee.

4. Other Seimas Members present at the committee sitting shall be, as a rule, allowed to have the floor to discuss the draft under consideration.

5. Representatives of other interested state institutions, local governments, political parties and organisations and public organisations may also be invited to the sitting. Upon the consent of the presiding officer, they may also be granted the floor.

6. In the event that the principal committee fails to examine the draft law within the established time period, it must address the Assembly of Elders with a request to prolong the period.

Article 150. Decisions of Principal Committee

1. During deliberations in the principal committee one of the following decisions must be adopted, which shall be presented for consideration of the draft at the Seimas sitting:

1) to approve a draft law submitted by the initiators, or a draft law revised by the committee and committee conclusions;

2) to approve or not to approve the amendments of the draft law received from persons having the right of legislative initiative (amendments which have been approved, shall be included in the draft law revised by the committee; all of the amendments received from these persons shall be included in conclusions of the committee);

3) to call a recess to deliberations in the committee and to return the draft law and conclusions for revision by those who prepare the conclusions and must implement the actions indicated by the committee;

4) to announce the draft to the public for consideration;

5) to return the draft to its initiators for revision; or

6) to reject the draft.

2. Should the principal committee adopt a decision to return the draft to initiators for revision or to reject the draft, this committee shall have to submit its conclusions to the Seimas nevertheless.

3. If the committee had been given several alternative drafts, the committee shall have to decide in the course of one of the meetings held in the nearest future, which of the alternative drafts it should approve and begin the deliberation procedure thereof in the committee.

4. After deliberations by the principal committee, the draft which has been approved by the committee and the committee˙s conclusions shall be forwarded to the Documentation Department of the Chancellor˙s Office for editing. The edited draft shall be co-ordinated with representatives of the initiators thereof and of the committees (preparers of conclusion).

5.When possible, a tape recording shall be made during the deliberations in the principal committee, and minutes shall be kept of the speeches which are made.

6. If during deliberation of the draft in the principal committee, at least three committee members fail to agree with the decision of the majority, they may present their own separate opinion to the Seimas, which must be included in the committee's conclusions and discussed as alternative during the consideration at the Seimas sitting.

Chapter XXII

Consideration of Draft Laws at Seimas Sittings

Article 151. Procedure of Draft Law Consideration

1. The draft law and conclusions of the committee shall be distributed among Seimas Members no later than within two days preceding the commencement of the Seimas sitting during which this draft shall be deliberated.

2. During consideration at a sitting of the Seimas, the expediency, conception and the basic provisions and principles of the draft law shall be discussed and the amendments and supplements received from persons having the right of legislative initiative and also amendments which due to the law approved by the committee, with at least 24 hours remaining prior to the time limit stipulated in the Seimas schedule for commencement of the draft law, has been submitted by the Republic President, Government, or a Member of the Seimas. During deliberation of the draft law at the Seimas sitting, a Seimas decision shall be adopted with respect to the amendments and supplements by the Seimas.

3. At a meeting of the Seimas a draft law shall be deliberated as follows:

1) report of the principal committee which is examining the draft law, at which time conclusions shall be presented concerning the results of draft consideration in the principal committee;

2) a vote, should the principal committee propose to return the draft to its initiators or to reject it. If the Seimas does not approve the principal committee˙s proposal, the Seimas may appoint another principal committee or create a special Seimas commission to revise the draft law. In this eventuality, this committee shall perform the functions of a principal committee and work in accordance with the work procedure of such committee. Should a decision be adopted to appoint another principal committee or special commission to revise the draft, a Seimas routine decision must be concurrently adopted, which should contain a formulation of principal provisions as to what the principal committee or special commission must correct in the draft. A Seimas Member, who is presenting a proposal to transfer the draft to another principal committee for revision must submit a draft of this routine decision;

3) reports by representatives of initiators of alternative drafts if there happen to be such, should such be presented;

4) additional reports by other committees;

5)  a general discussion of the basic provisions of the draft law - statements of the Government, other committees, parliamentary group members, and individual Seimas Members;

6) following a general discussion, should the authors of an alternative draft fail to agree with the principal committee˙s decision not to approve the alternative draft, to take a vote on whether to approve or not to approve the committee˙s decision;

7) a vote also, if such is requested by a Seimas Member, after a general discussion, regarding whether to approve the draft law approved by the principal committee;

8) a recess to be called in the Seimas sitting, should the Seimas fail to approve the draft submitted by the principal committee or should the Seimas decide to approve an alternate draft, which has not been approved by the principal committee, and the draft shall either be returned to the same principal committee for revision or the Seimas may appoint another principal committee or a special Seimas commission to be created to edit the draft. In this eventuality, such a commission shall perform the functions of a principal committee and carry on according to the work procedure of such committee;

9) decisions deliberated and adopted with respect to the amendments and supplements of the draft law which have been presented during deliberation in the principal committee by persons having the right of legislative initiative and those which have not been approved by the principal committee;

10) decisions deliberated and adopted with respect to the amendments and supplements of the draft law, which have been presented by the President of the Republic, the Government or a Seimas Member, if the amendment or supplement being submitted by him is supported by at least ten Seimas Members, at least 24 hours prior to draft deliberation in the Seimas sitting.

4. The time allotted to the general discussions in the Seimas sitting agenda shall be proportionately divided for parliamentary group representatives. If the representatives of the Seimas parliamentary groups have not fully used the time allotted for discussion, the discussion shall be completed prior to expiration of the allotted time.

Article 152. Presentation and Adoption Amendments of Draft Law during Deliberation in Seimas Sitting

1. The President of the Republic, the Government or Member of Seimas must present all of the proposed amendments, deletions and supplements of the draft law to the Secretariat of the sittings at least 24 hours prior to the time established in the agenda of the sitting for commencement of draft law deliberation.

2. The Secretariat of the sittings shall submit amendments to the draft law to the principal committee which is examining the law, make copies and distribute them to all of the Seimas Members. The conclusions of the principal committee in which must be indicated what the amendments by persons having the right of legislative initiative are, whether or not the amendments have been presented in the course of the principal committee meeting, and which of these amendments and supplements have not been approved by this committee, shall also be distributed.

3. If new amendments, supplements and deletions have been received according to the procedure established in paragraph 1 of this Article, which have until then not been examined by the principal committee, a meeting of the principal committee must be held prior to the consideration of the draft law at a Seimas sitting, in which the received proposals must be considered.

4. New amendments, supplements and deletions may not be presented and accepted during draft consideration at a Seimas sitting, except for editorial amendments which shall be not considered and not voted upon, but submitted in writing to the principal committee examining the draft law.

5. The amendments and supplements of the Seimas Members which have been presented in accordance with the procedure in paragraph 1 of this Article, shall not be presented by the presiding officer for consideration and voting if these are supported by less than ten Seimas Members after the presiding officer announces them during the sitting.

6. During consideration of amendments and supplements at a sitting of the Seimas, only authors and reporters of amendments and supplements shall be permitted to take the floor (up to 2 minutes for each proposal, except the proposals referred to in paragraph 5 of this Article) and a reporter shall not be questioned regarding voting motives.

7. Having taken the floor in connection with an amendment or supplement their author may not speak on voting motives.

8. Amendments to individual Article of a law shall be considered and adopted according to the following procedure:

1) the reporter shall read the received written proposals to amend an entire article, amend certain propositions to supplement the article, and delete certain propositions; he also might briefly comment on them (up to 2 minutes);

2) decisions on the presented proposals shall be adopted by vote. When there exist several proposals for the same article, the vote is taken in the order of proposals indicated in item 1 of this paragraph, in the stipulated order according to the procedure of presenting proposals. Supplements or amendments of a correction shall be voted upon prior to voting on the correction itself;

3) the presenter may retract his proposal prior to a vote being taken;

4) the presiding officer shall refrain from submitting to a vote proposals, which contradict those adopted earlier;

5) when a reporter informs that the principal committee has considered a proposal and shall adopt it, it is possible not to vote upon it, provided no Members of Seimas oppose this;

6) the entire article shall be voted upon.

9. Presented additional articles of draft laws shall be considered and adopted according to the same procedure as all of the other amendments or supplements of the draft law.

Article 153. Seimas Decisions Following Consideration of a Draft Law in Seimas Sitting

After consideration the Seimas shall decide:

1) whether or not to approve the draft law approved by the committee with the amendments adopted during a Seimas sitting and to appoint the date of passage of the law after at least 2 working days;

2) whether or not to announce the draft for public consideration. In such a case the procedure shall be repeated beginning from the consideration in the principal committee;

3) whether or not to return the draft for revision to the principal committee. If such a decision shall be adopted, a routine decision by the Seimas, in which the principal provisions must be expressed, and that which the principal committee must correct in the draft must be adopted concurrently. A Seimas Member, who shall present the proposal to return the draft to the principal committee for revision must prepare a draft of this routine decision. In this instance the procedure shall be repeated from the beginning of consideration in the principal committee. Such a decision may only be adopted once in the course of draft deliberation;

4) whether or not to adjourn the consideration of the draft, should consideration not be completed at the same sitting or if it becomes clear that the Seimas Members require additional information necessary for draft consideration, or according to the procedure established by Article 109 of this Statute;

5) whether to return the draft to initiators for fundamental revision. In this event, the procedure of deliberation of the draft law shall be repeated from its presentation at the Seimas sitting;

6) whether or not to reject the draft and if necessary, charge the preparation of a new draft.

Article 154. Additional Adjournments during Draft Law Consideration

1. Should the reporter require and think that one more additional sitting is necessary in order to co-ordinate the adopted amendments and supplements, following the vote on all of the amendments and supplements an adjournment may be called, but not to extend beyond the closest sitting of Seimas day.

2. The amendments and supplements made by the committee, which must not contradict the essence of already adopted amendments shall be considered after adjourning, and voted upon. In the course of said consideration other proposals of amendments and supplements shall not be accepted.

3. If in the course of draft law deliberation by the Seimas some amendments have been adopted, which had abrogated the articles decisive of the principles and structure, and also individual chapters and sections, the reporter may propose postponement of draft revision until the end of consideration at Seimas sitting.

4. Should the Seimas accept this proposal, the procedure shall be repeated from the consideration of draft law in the principal committee. This possibility may only be used one time in the course of the consideration of a draft law.

Chapter XXIII

The Passage of a Draft Law at a Seimas Sitting

Article 155. Presentation of Amendments and Supplements of Draft Law

1. The principal committee must submit to the Seimas for adoption a draft law, newly edited by the Documents Department of the Seimas Chancellor˙s Office, as well as new conclusions with respect to this draft, by the Legal Department of the Seimas Chancellor˙s Office. Drafts must be transferred to these departments at least three working days prior to their adoption.

2. By reason of compelling circumstances, non-compliance with the requirements stipulated in paragraph 1 of this Article may be authorised by the Seimas Chancellor.

3. The edited draft law and conclusions of the Legal Department must be distributed to the Seimas Members and presented to the Government and Republic President˙s Office, at least two workdays before the sitting.

4. At the time of presentation, only those amendments, supplements and deletions shall be considered, which shall be supported by at least one fifth of the Seimas Members, during the sitting, following the presiding officer˙s announcement thereof. Persons having the right of legislative initiative must present to the Secretariat of the Sitting, at least 24 hours before the time indicated in the time schedule of commencement of the procedure of adopting the law, all proposed amendments, supplements and deletions of the draft law.

5. The Secretariat of the Sitting shall hand over the amendments, supplements and deletions to the principal committee examining the draft law, make copies thereof and distribute them to all Seimas Members.

6. If some new amendments, supplements or deletions have been received in accordance with the procedure established in paragraph 4 of this Article, which have not been previously considered by the principal committee, a meeting of the principal committee must be held, prior to the draft law consideration at a sitting of the Seimas, in which all of the received proposals must be considered.

7. During passage of the law, new amendments, supplements or deletions, which do not correspond to the requirements of paragraph 4 of this Article shall not be passed.

Article 156. The Procedure of Accepting the Draft Law

1. During passage of the law, the reporter shall briefly discuss the received proposals and amendments, indicating their presenters.

2. Subsequently, individual draft law sections shall be put to a vote. Provided the Seimas does not decide to the contrary, articles shall be adopted in sequence.

3. The presiding officer may submit to a vote earlier those articles which decide the principles and structure of the draft law.

4. Those articles, for which there are no proposals, may be adopted without being put to a vote, provided no Seimas Member shall be opposed to this. In other instances, every article shall be put to a vote.

5. New amendments, supplements and deletions, presented in accordance with the procedure established in paragraph 4 of Article 155, shall not be presented for a vote by the presiding officer, if upon announcing thereof by the presiding officer, they shall be supported by less than 1/5 of the Members of Seimas.

6. During the passage of the law the floor shall be granted only to authors of presented amendments and supplements (up to 2 minutes regarding each proposal, except for the proposals mentioned in paragraph 5 of this Article), the reporter who shall not be asked any questions on the motives of voting.

7. Upon being granted the floor concerning an amendment or supplement, the author thereof may not speak on the motives of voting.

Article 157. Adoption of Individual Article of Draft Law

1. A separate article of the draft law shall be considered and passed in accordance with the following procedure:

1) the reporter shall announce the proposals received in writing - either to amend the entire article, to alter some statements of the article, to supplement the article, to delete some statements of the article as well as may briefly comment on each proposal (for a maximum of 2 minutes each);

2) during voting, alternative proposals shall be chosen. When several proposals concerning one article have been received, voting shall be conducted according to the sequence specified in item 1 of this Article, and in the case of the specified sequence - according to the sequence in which the proposals have been submitted. Amendments or supplements to the amendment shall be voted on prior to voting on the amendment itself;

3) before voting, the person who submitted the proposal may retract it;

4) proposals contradicting those previously adopted or analogous, previously rejected ones, shall be rejected without voting by the officer presiding over the sitting;

5) when the reporter announces that the principal committee has deliberated and is adopting the proposal, a vote is not necessary, provided that no Members of the Seimas object thereto;

6) the entire article shall be put to a vote.

2. Additional articles of the draft law which are submitted shall be considered and adopted according to the same procedure as for all the other articles of the draft law.

Article 158. Adjournments during Passage of a Draft Law

1. If the reporter believes that it is necessary to hold one more meeting of the principal committee for the co-ordination of the adopted proposals and so requests, passage may be adjourned after voting on all articles, but not to extend beyond the next day of the Seimas sitting.

2. After adjournment, amendments and supplements proposed by the committee which must not contradict the content of the adopted articles shall be discussed and put to a vote. During the discussion, other proposals concerning amendments and supplements shall not be accepted.

3. In the event that the articles which condition the principles and structure of the law, as well as separate sections or chapters, are not adopted during adoption of the draft law in the Seimas, the reporter may propose postponement of the draft prior to the conclusion of consideration by the sitting of the Seimas, in order to revise it.

4. If the Seimas adopts said proposal, the procedure shall be repeated from the consideration of the draft law in the principal committee. During consideration of a draft law, the above alternative may only be used once.

5. If, in the course of adopting a draft law, while voting on articles of the draft law or articles of  other laws, which regulate taxes, on account of which state revenue may be greatly affected, a Government Member, a person authorised by the Government so requests, the passage of the law shall be adjourned till the next day of sittings. When continuing consideration of adoption of a draft law, the procedure of adopting the last article prior to adjournment shall be repeated.

6. If during the consideration of a draft law, it is amended in such a manner that its provisions may be not in accordance with the European Union Law, the principal committee may request the Bureau of European Law under the Government to submit new conclusions.

7. Adjournment must be made prior to a vote being taken on the entire draft law, during the passage of the law, if there are no proposals submitted and considered at the Seimas regarding a law or resolution on implementation of the law, as well as laws with regard to other laws or articles thereof, linked with an amendment, supplement or deletion of the laws being adopted, when the Seimas has resolved that these legal acts must be adopted.

Article 159. Voting for Entire Draft Law

1. Proposals to reject a draft shall not be accepted in the course of passing a law. Should it fail to receive the required number of votes, it shall be considered rejected.

2. After all the articles of the law have been considered, the entire draft law shall be put to a vote.

3. If the law is not passed, the Seimas may charge the initiators of the draft or the principal committee to work out a new draft.

4. As necessary, a law or resolution concerning the implementation of the law shall be considered and passed, during the passage of the law, and also laws on amendment, supplement and repeal of other laws or their articles which are related to the enacted law shall be considered and adopted during the passage of the law.

Article 160. Withholding of the Signing of the Law

1. Before the passed law is submitted to the President of the Republic for signing, the Seimas Chairman, a committee or no less than 1/5 of Seimas Members may address the Seimas with a justified petition concerning the violations of the Statute of the Seimas, committed, in their opinion, during the passage of a law.

2. Should such a petition be received, the Commission on Ethics and procedures must present its conclusions and proposals to the Seimas within five workdays.

3. Until the Commission on Ethics and Procedures presents such conclusions, the Seimas Chairman shall not hand the law over to the President of the Republic for signing.

4. In the event that the Commission on Ethics and Procedures states that the legislative procedure or any other significant provisions of this Statute have been grossly violated, and that this conditioned the decision of the Seimas, the Seimas shall decide by vote whether to revoke the disputed law or to leave it in effect.

5. Should the Seimas in this instance, acknowledge the disputed law as repealed, consideration of the draft thereof shall usually be repeated from the stage, when the violation was committed.

Article 161. Presentation of Rejected Draft

If the draft law is rejected at any stage of consideration, it may be submitted again, but no sooner than 6 months thereafter.

Chapter XXIV

Consideration of Draft Law According to Procedures of Urgency and Special Urgency

Article 162. Proposal to Apply Consideration by Urgency Procedure

1.Projects of Seimas resolutions and, should the Seimas so decide, draft laws, shall be considered according to the procedure of urgency.

2. The above procedure shall be used upon the justified motion of the President of the Republic, the Seimas Chairman, the Leader of Seimas Opposition, the Board of the Seimas, the principal committee, a parliamentary group, or the Government.

3. The decision to consider a draft law according to the procedure of urgency may be adopted during the presentation or consideration of a draft by a majority of voting members, provided that said majority is more than 1/5 of all the Seimas Members.

Article 163. Consideration according to the Procedure of Urgency

1. If the urgent procedure of consideration is applied, the time period between the stages of consideration-consideration in the principal committee, consideration in the Seimas sitting, and passage - shall be shortened; other time limits established in this Statute which are related to legislation, shall also be shortened.

2. Said time periods must not be shorter than one workday.

3. The Seimas shall establish the specific terms in each case separately, however, in each case, the draft law under consideration must be distributed to the Seimas Members at least one day prior to the sitting at which it will be passed.

Article 164. Consideration by Applying Procedure of Special Urgency

1. On the substantiated recommendation of the President of the Republic, the Seimas Chairman, or the Government, drafts of laws and resolutions of the Seimas may be considered according to the procedure of special urgency.

2. The decision to apply the above procedure shall be adopted by a majority vote of all the Seimas Members participating in the sitting, provided that said majority is comprised of more than 1/4 of all the Seimas Members.

3. According to the special urgency procedure, if the draft has been distributed to the Seimas Members and the requirements prescribed in Chapter 19 of this Statute have been implemented, the procedure of passage may be commenced immediately and the requirements of Article 155 of the Statute shall not be applied, however, all amendments submitted by persons having the right of legislative initiative must be presented in writing not later than two hours prior to the commencement of the passage procedure.

4. A decision to apply the procedure of special urgency may be adopted during the presentation or consideration of the draft at the sitting of the Seimas.

Chapter XXV

Consideration at Seimas Sittings of the Law which Has Been Returned by the President of the Republic

Article 165. Decisions of the Seimas Regarding a Law Returned by the President of the Republic

1. If, pursuant to par. 1 of Article 71 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic returns a draft law which has been passed by the Seimas, to the Seimas for repeat consideration, the Seimas Chairman shall notify the Seimas thereof at the next sitting.

2. No later than the next day of sittings the Seimas must decide by voting on whether to consider the returned law anew, or whether to deem the law as not having been passed.

3. In the latter case, the Seimas may charge one of the committees to prepare a new draft of the law or form a working group for the above purpose. Only speaking about the motives of voting ( two: 'in favour,' two: 'against'), may precede voting.

4. Should the decision be made to consider the draft law anew, the Seimas must set the date of consideration at the same sitting of the Seimas. The consideration must be held no later than within a week.

Article 166. Consideration of a Returned Law

1. Consideration at the Seimas sitting of the returned law shall involve hearing of the reports by the principal and additional committees and a joint discussion shall be held .

2. After the consideration, adoption of the law which has been repeatedly considered by the Seimas shall be held at the same sitting of the Seimas.

Article 167. Passage of the Returned Law

1. During passage of the returned law, a vote shall first of all be taken on whether to pass the entire law without amendments.

2. A law which has been repeatedly considered by the Seimas shall be deemed passed provided that more than half (in the case of a constitutional law - at least 3/5) of all of the Seimas Members voted in favour thereof.

3. If the law without amendments has not been passed, a vote shall be taken on whether to pass the law with all of the amendments and supplements submitted by the President of the Republic.

4. In this case the repeatedly considered law shall be deemed to have been passed provided that the majority of the Seimas Members participating in the sitting voted in favour thereof, and in the case of a constitutional law - more than half of all the Seimas Members.

Chapter XXVI

Amendment of the Constitution and Consideration of Draft Constitutional Laws

Article 168. Constitutional Laws

The following shall be deemed to be constitutional laws:

1) laws provided for in Article 150 of the Constitution as well as constitutional amendments. The procedure of their consideration and passage shall be established in Chapter 14 of the Constitution and this Chapter of the Statute of the Seimas;

2) laws which are directly specified in the Constitution as well as other laws which give specific expression to constitutional norms and are set forth in the Law on the List of Constitutional Laws. The procedure of their consideration and passage shall be defined in Article 69 of the Constitution and in this Chapter of the Statute.

2. The List of Constitutional Laws shall be established by the Seimas by a 3/5 majority vote of the Seimas Members. Laws which have already been passed may also be included in this list if the Seimas arrives at the conclusion that said laws are, according to their content and significance, constitutional.

Article 169. The Right of Constitutional Amendment Initiative

1. Consideration of the draft Law on Amendment of the Constitution shall commence consideration in the Seimas only in cases when the draft is submitted by a group of at least 1/4 of the Seimas Members or at least 300,000 electors who have expressed their will by putting their signatures under the text of the proposed amendment, with the exception of cases provided for in the Constitution which provide for constitutional amendment only by referendum.

2. The Constitution may not be amended during a state of emergency or martial law.

Article 170. Consideration of Constitutional Laws

1. Drafts of constitutional laws shall be registered, submitted, considered, and passed according to the procedure established in Chapters 19-25 of this Statute, unless otherwise provided in this Chapter.

2. Said drafts may not be considered according to the procedures of urgency or special urgency.

3. Before commencing consideration of such a draft at a Seimas sitting, the draft must be considered by the principal committee which is examining said draft within the ten-day period prior thereto, and distributed to the Seimas Members and delivered to the President of the Republic and the Government within the seven-day period prior thereto.

4. After consideration at the Seimas sitting, the procedure of passing the law shall commence no sooner than ten days thereafter.

5. The Committee on Legal Affairs shall be the principal committee examining drafts of constitutional laws.

6. It shall be prohibited to restrict discussions on the constitutional law which is under consideration, with the exception of cases when such a decision is adopted by a majority vote of at least 1/3 of all of the Seimas Members.

Article 171. Procedure of Passing Constitutional Laws

1. Laws on constitutional amendments shall be considered and voting in the Seimas thereon shall be held twice, with an adjournment of at least three months between voting.

2. A law on amendment of the Constitution shall be deemed to have been passed by the Seimas provided that at least 2/3 of all the Seimas Members voted in favour thereof during each voting, and that the same text of the amendment was put to the vote each time.

3. A constitutional amendment which has not been passed may be submitted to the Seimas for repeat consideration no sooner than one year thereafter.

4. Other constitutional laws shall be deemed to have been passed if more than a half of the Seimas Members vote in favour thereof.

5. Amendments to said constitutional laws or laws which repeal or amend the laws which have been in effect prior thereto must be passed by a 3/5 majority vote of all the Seimas Members by taking a single vote thereon.

Chapter XXVII

Approval of State Budget

Article 172. Submitting of Draft of State Budget

1. Upon drawing up the draft State Budget for the following year, the Government shall submit said draft to the Seimas by the 17th of October, with data upon which this draft is based.

2. The Secretariat of the Seimas sittings shall forward copies of the draft of the Budget to the Seimas Board members, committees, parliamentary groups, the State Controller not later than within three days.

3. The report of the Government on the draft State Budget shall be heard at the next sitting of the Seimas.

4. Thereafter, at least 15 days shall be assigned for consideration of the draft State Budget in Committees and parliamentary groups. Sittings of the Seimas shall not be held during the above-specified period.

5. Following submission at the sitting of the Seimas, the Budget and Finance Committee shall publish in the press in accordance with the procedure established by the Seimas Board, the time limit wherein the committee shall await proposals and remarks of interested persons regarding the draft of the State Budget.

6. The Budget and Finance Committee shall hand over the proposals and remarks to corresponding Seimas Committees according to their competence, where these proposals must be considered according to the procedure, established by this Statute.

Article 173. Consideration of the Draft State Budget in Committees

1. The Committees shall examine the classification chapters of the draft State Budget in accordance with their competence, and shall formulate their conclusions and amendments and submit them by the 10th of November to the Committee on Budget and Finance. The State Controller shall submit his conclusion concerning the Draft State Budget to the Budget and Finance Committee prior to November 15th.

2. Representatives of the Government, other State institutions and the Committee on Budget and Finance shall be invited to the sittings of committees during which the draft State Budget is to be examined.

3. The Government and other State institutions must furnish the committees with all the data whereon the draft State Budget is based.

Article 174. Proposals on the Draft State Budget

1. At all stages of consideration of the draft State Budget, committees, parliamentary groups, and individual Members of the Seimas may propose an increase in the expenditures provided for in the draft only on condition that they specify the sources of financing said expenditure.

2. It shall not be permitted to propose a decrease in the expenditures included in the draft State Budget pursuant to laws, other standard acts adopted by the Seimas, and international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania.

3. Should the Seimas desire to reduce said expenditure, it must first of all amend the appropriate standard acts.

Article 175. Consideration of the Draft State Budget at the Seimas Budget and Finance Committee

1. Upon receipt of the conclusions of other committees and of the opinions and proposed amendments of parliamentary groups, the Committee on Budget and Finance shall, together with the representatives of the Government, parliamentary groups, and other committees, consider the draft State Budget and formulate conclusions thereon.

2. The Committee on Budget and Finance must either adopt the amendments to the state budget law proposed by another committee if said amendments are within the competence of the respective committee, or reject said amendments, presenting a justified response.

3. Any committee of the Seimas shall be entitled to submit proposals to amend those chapters of the State Budget which are not within their competence. In such an event, the Committee on Budget and Finance shall not be obligated to provide a justified response to the committee on whether or not it has accepted the amendments proposed by it.

Article 176. The First Deliberation of the Draft State Budget in the Seimas

1. The draft State Budget must be considered at the Seimas sitting no later than by the 25th of November.

2. At the sitting, a report of the Committee on Budget and Finance shall be heard, and conclusions of other committees as well as opinions and remarks of parliamentary groups and individual Seimas Members, which have been rejected by the Committee on Budget and Finance shall be submitted.

Article 177. The Second Deliberation of the Draft State Budget in the Seimas

1. The second deliberation of the draft State Budget shall be conducted within 15 days after the primary deliberation of the draft, at which time the Government shall present the draft revised in accordance with the received proposals and remarks.

2. During the sitting, a representative of the Government shall announce which proposals and amendments submitted by committees, parliamentary groups, and individual Members of the Seimas have been included in the draft State Budget and which have been rejected, shall give reasons for said rejections, and shall answer questions of the Seimas Members.

3. After the discussion, a vote shall be taken on assigning at one of the next Seimas sittings the passage of a law which approves the State Budget.

4. Prior to the commencement of the sitting, new proposals and amendments shall be submitted to the Government representative in accordance with the procedure established in Article 152 of this Statute.

5. Should there be a great number of significant comments concerning the draft State Budget, said draft may be returned to the Government for revision. No more than ten days shall be allotted therefor; thereafter, the procedure of second deliberation shall be resumed.

Article 178. Approval of the State Budget

1. Alternative proposals and amendments which are objected to by the Government but which meet the conditions set forth in Article 174 of this Chapter may be adopted only after more than half of all the Seimas Members vote in favour thereof.

2. Upon considering and adopting decisions concerning the proposals and amendments, the Seimas must vote on the entire draft State Budget.

3. The State Budget shall be approved pursuant to the indices established in the Law on Budgeting of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. The appropriations according to the chapters of budget expenditure classification shall also be concurrently approved. The appropriations shall be mandatory to all executors of the Budget.

Article 179. Additional Deliberation upon Rejection of the Draft State Budget

1. In the event that the Seimas rejects the draft State Budget, one more deliberation shall be assigned to be held no sooner than 5 days, and no later than 10 days after, during which a draft revised by the Government in accordance with the remarks of the committees, parliamentary groups, and Members of the Seimas shall be presented.

2. The deliberation shall be conducted according to the procedure provided for in Article 177 of this Chapter.

3. In the event of failure to approve the State Budget within the established time limit, the monthly budgetary expenditure in the beginning of the budget year may not exceed 1/12 of the State Budget expenditure of the preceding year.

Article 180. Revision of the State Budget

1. The Seimas may revise the State Budget during the budget year. The Budget shall be revised in the same procedure it is drawn up, adopted and approved.

2. As necessary, the Seimas may approve an additional budget.

3. In the event that funds which cannot be allocated from the Government Reserve Fund, the Government shall submit to the Seimas a draft law on amendment of the Law on the State Budget. The purpose and amount of the required funds as well as the source of the financing thereof shall be specified in the draft.

4. Adhering to the conditions stipulated in Article 174 of this Chapter, committees, parliamentary groups or individual Members of the Seimas may propose a draft law on the revision of certain budget expenditure clauses.

5. In the above case, a law shall be passed by a majority vote of the Seimas Members participating in the sitting provided that the Government has no objections thereto.

6. Otherwise, the affirmative vote of more than a half of all the Seimas Members shall be required for passing the law.

Chapter XXVIII

Ratification and Denunciation of International Treaties

Article 181. Ratification and Denunciation of International Treaties

1. A law concerning the ratification of an international treaty shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Seimas Members present at the sitting, but no less than 2/5 of all of the Seimas Members.

2. A law concerning the denunciation of a treaty shall be deemed to have been adopted if no less than 3/5 of all of the Seimas Members voted in favour thereof.

3. The State borders may be realigned only by international treaty of the Republic of Lithuania, provided it is ratified by 4/5 of all of the Seimas Members.

Chapter XXIX

Adoption of Resolution

Article 182. Resolution

1. A resolution shall be a non-standard act of the Seimas, adopted when striving to confirm in writing the opinion of the Seimas on any issue of national importance.

2. Other non-standard acts of the Seimas (appeals, declarations, non-standard resolutions etc.) shall be adopted in the same manner as resolutions.

3. The President of the Republic, the Government, Members of the Seimas, committees and parliamentary groups shall have the right of resolution initiative.

4. The proposal to deliberate a draft resolution may be submitted during the week or in the course of a discussion on the agenda of the sittings.

Article 183. Submission and Deliberation of a Draft Resolution

1. The text of a draft resolution must be submitted to the Seimas Members at least two hours prior to the deliberation thereof.

2. During the deliberation, a representative of the initiators of the draft resolution shall be granted the floor and shall answer the questions thereafter, a discussion will follow and be held according to the general procedure.

Article 184. Seimas Decisions Following Deliberation of Draft Resolution

Following deliberation of the draft resolution the Seimas shall resolve, whether:

1) to adopt a resolution without amendments. Said proposal may not be adopted, if more than 1/3 of all of the Seimas Members object this;

2) to edit the draft of the resolution;

3) to reject the draft of the resolution or to commission drafting of a new one.

Article 185. Editing of a Draft Resolution

1. Should the decision be made to edit the draft of the resolution, the Seimas shall assign the date and time of deliberation thereof and form an editorial commission.

2. An editorial commission may not be comprised of more than nine Members of the Seimas. At least one of the initiators of the draft resolution must be included in the editorial commission.

3. Other Members of the Seimas shall submit their proposals to the editorial commission in writing.

Article 186. Adoption of Edited Resolution

1. After the editorial commission announces the revised text, new proposals may be deliberated only on the decision of Seimas.

2. Should the editorial commission reject the proposals submitted earlier, the Seimas will vote on them based upon the demands of those submitting the proposals.

3. Upon concluding the vote on alternative proposals, a vote shall be taken on the entire text of the resolution.

PART VI

ELECTION, APPOINTMENT OF OFFICIALS AND APPROVAL

OF THE APPOINTMENT THEREOF AND DELIBERATION

OF THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME

Chapter XXX

Procedure of Election of the Seimas Chairman, His Deputies and Seimas Chancellor

Article 187. The Term of Office of Seimas Leadership

1. The Seimas Chairman, shall be elected by secret ballot at the first sitting of the Seimas following the elections.

2. The Seimas Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and the Seimas Chancellor shall be elected from among the Seimas Members at the first session of the Seimas for the entire term during which the Seimas is in office.

3. Upon the resignation, demise, or dismissal by the Seimas of any of the above Seimas officers from office, or upon the election or appointment thereof to another office, elections for a new officer to fill the post shall be held during the next sitting of the Seimas in accordance with the procedure provided for in this Statute.

Article 188. Nomination of Candidates for Seimas Leadership Positions

1. Candidates to the office of Seimas Chairman may be nominated by written application by at least 1/10 of the Seimas Members.

2. Candidates to the offices of deputy of the Seimas Chairman and the Seimas Chancellor shall, upon having co-ordinated with parliamentary groups, be nominated by the Seimas Chairman in such a manner that the Board of the Seimas would include one or two representatives of the Seimas minority. Said officers shall be elected by secret ballot.

Article 189. Speeches of Candidates to Seimas Leadership Positions and Discussions Regarding the Candidacies

1. After being nominated to a post, candidates must, prior to the elections, state whether or not they agree to run for election.

2. Each candidate, in alphabetical order, shall be granted the floor for 15 minutes and candidates to the office of Seimas Chairman shall be entitled to 30 minutes with an equal amount of time allotted to answer questions.

3. Thereafter, a debate shall commence if the Seimas Members so desire.

Article 190. Election of Seimas Leaders

1. Voting for each candidate shall be done separately.

2. If more candidates than necessary are nominated for election to one office, voting shall be done by ballot with a list of candidates.

3. A candidate shall be deemed elected if more than half of the voting Seimas Members vote for him or her, with the exception of repeat voting, in which case the candidate who has received a relative majority of votes shall be deemed elected.

4. In the event that no candidate receives the required majority of votes, or if it is impossible to determine which of the candidates have been elected due to a tie, a repeat vote shall be held.

Article 191. Repeat Elections to Leading Positions of Seimas

1. In voting for an empty post when there are more than two candidates, all of the candidates, with the exception of those who received the lowest number of votes, shall remain on the ballot for repeat balloting.

2. If several candidates have tied for the least number of votes and two or more candidates received more votes than they, the candidates with the least number of votes shall be removed from the next ballot. Otherwise, all of the candidates shall remain on the next ballot.

3. If the situation remains unchanged after the repeat vote, the election shall be postponed to another day. If two candidates receive the required number of votes, the provisions of paragraph 4 hereof shall apply.

4. If there are two candidates for an vacant office during a repeat vote, the Seimas Member who received more votes shall be deemed to have been elected. In the event of a tie, a repeat vote shall be held the next day; if no candidate is elected during the repeat vote, a new election shall be held.

5. When elections to several unfilled offices are held simultaneously and the number of candidates exceeds the number of offices, the names of all of the candidates who were nominated but not elected, shall be entered on the ballots for repeat voting. After the repeat vote, the candidates who received the most votes shall be deemed to have been elected. If, after a repeat vote, elected candidates can not be identified, balloting shall be repeated on another day.

Chapter XXXI

Consideration of the Prime Minister's Candidature and the Government Programme

Article 192. Nomination for the Candidature of Prime Minister and Deliberation thereof in Parliamentary Groups

1. In the cases provided for in the Constitution, the Seimas shall, upon receiving a nomination for the candidature of the Prime Minister from the President of the Republic, give the President of the Republic an opportunity to present the candidate during the next sitting.

2. Upon presenting the candidature of the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic shall not be asked any questions.

3. After the President of the Republic has presented the candidature, the candidate shall be granted the floor (for up to 30 minutes); thereafter the candidate shall answer questions posed by the Members of the Seimas (for up to 40 minutes).

4. Thereafter, the candidature of the Prime Minister shall be referred to parliamentary groups of the Seimas for consideration. Parliamentary groups shall have the right to invite the candidate to their meetings for a question and answer session at a time co-ordinated with the candidate.

5. Parliamentary groups must consider the candidature of the Prime Minister within 2 work-days.

Article 193. Deliberation of the Candidature of the Prime Minister at the Seimas Sitting

1. Another sitting of the Seimas must be held within one week from the presentation of the candidature of the Prime Minister in order to adopt a decision concerning the proposed candidature.

2. During this sitting, the conclusions of parliamentary groups, beginning with the biggest parliamentary group and ending with the smallest parliamentary group, shall be heard first.

3. Thereafter, a discussion shall be held, at the end of which the candidate shall be granted the floor (for up to 20 minutes), and shall also be given the opportunity to answer questions posed by Members of the Seimas (for up to 30 minutes).

4. Once the candidate finishes answering questions, a vote shall be taken on whether or not the candidature of the Prime Minister should be approved.

5. The President of the Republic has the right to revoke the nominated candidature at any time up until the beginning of the vote for approval.

Article 194. Presentation of the Government Programme

1.The Prime Minister shall, within 15 days of being appointed, present a Government which has been approved by the President of the Republic to the Seimas and submit the Government programme for consideration.

2. Members of the newly-formed Government must attend the presentation.

3. The Government programme must be distributed among the Seimas Members at least 24 hours prior to the sitting.

4.When explaining the programme, the Prime Minister may speak for up to 40 minutes.

5. A total of an hour and a half shall be allotted for answering questions. Questions may be addressed to the Prime Minister and any of the ministers.

Article 195. Consideration of the Government Programme in Committees and Parliamentary Groups

1. After being presented, the Government programme shall be considered by the Seimas parliamentary groups and Seimas committees.

2. Committees and parliamentary groups shall have the right to invite the Prime Minister or other minister, at a time co-ordinated therewith, to answer questions concerning the Government programme.

3. Seimas committees and parliamentary groups must prepare their conclusions concerning the Government programme within ten days after it is presented.

Article 196. Consideration of Government Programme at Seimas Sitting

1. The Seimas must consider the Government programme during a sitting within 15 days after it is presented.

2. A report by the Seimas opposition leader and conclusions of the committees and parliamentary groups starting with the opposition ones, shall be heard first at this sitting.

3. Thereafter, a debate shall be held, at the termination of which the Prime Minister shall be granted the floor (for up to 20 minutes); the Prime Minister and ministers shall also be given the opportunity to answer questions posed by the Seimas Members one more time (for a total period of up to an hour and a half).

4. The debate concerning the Government programme may be terminated by majority vote of more than half of the voting Members of the Seimas. Such a proposal shall be put to a vote without discussion provided that at least one other member of the Seimas expresses support therefor. Should the opposition parliamentary group object to interrupting the discussion and its proposal is supported by 1/4 of the Seimas Members present at the sitting, the discussion shall continue further.

Article 197. Approval or Non-Approval of the Government Programme

1. When the Prime Minister and ministers finish answering questions by the Seimas Members, the Seimas must adopt a decision concerning the Government programme. The wording of the decision shall be presented in the conclusions of the committees and parliamentary groups.

2. In the event that the Government programme is not approved or is returned to the Government for improvement thereof, a revised version of the Government programme must be presented to the Seimas within 10 days, and the procedure for discussion thereof shall be repeated in the manner established in Articles 194-196 of this Statute.

3. The new Government shall be granted authorisation to act after the Seimas approves its programme by majority vote of the Seimas Members present at the sitting.

4. The Members of the Government shall be sworn in the Seimas, in accordance with procedure established by the Law on the Government.

5. In the event that the Seimas refuses to approve the programme of the newly-formed Government two times in succession, the Government must resign.

Article 198. New Delegation of Power to the Government

1. When more than a half of the ministers are changed, the Government must receive a new delegation of power from the Seimas. Otherwise the Government must resign.

2. If more than half of the ministers have been replaced, the Prime Minister must, within seven days of the last change of ministers, present the newly - appointed minister, as well as the amendments to the Government programme if amendments have been made, during a sitting of the Seimas in order to be granted new authorisation; in the event that said changes were made between sessions, the Prime Minister must make said presentations during the first seven days of the next Seimas session.

3. During the presentation, the Seimas Members may pose questions to the Prime Minister and the newly appointed minister (total of 30 minutes).

4. In the event that amendments to the Government programme are presented, discussion shall be continued according to the procedure established in Articles 194 and 195 of this Statute.

5. Otherwise, a discussion shall be held immediately after the presentation of the minister, whereafter the Seimas may take a vote concerning the granting of authorisation to the Government or may decide to refer the issue to the committees and parliamentary groups for consideration, but for no longer than seven days.

6. In the latter case, a discussion shall be held after the conclusions of the committees and parliamentary groups have been presented, but no later than within one week and a vote concerning the granting of authorisation shall be taken upon hearing an additional speech by the Prime Minister (not exceeding 30 minutes).

Chapter XXXII

Consideration of Condidatures of Constitutional Court Judges, Supreme Court Judges and Other State Officers, and Their Appointment

Article 199. Appointment of Judges and Other State Officials or Support of their Candidatures

1. The Seimas shall appoint the judges of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court as well as the chairmen of these Courts and shall also appoint officers of the State as established by the Constitution and the laws.

2. The persons who shall nominate candidates to the above offices shall be established by the Constitution and other appropriate laws.

3. The Seimas shall also decide whether or not to approve of the candidatures of the judges and officers appointed by the President of the Republic if this is provided for in the Constitution and laws.

Article 200. Presentation of Candidatures to Appointed Offices

1. Candidates to offices whereto officers are appointed by the Seimas or offices for the appointment whereto approval of the Seimas is required shall be presented at Seimas sittings by the person who nominated said candidate or proposed the composition of a collegial institution (in corpore).

2. A maximum of 10 minutes shall be allotted for the presentation of individual candidates, whereas a maximum of 20 minutes shall be allotted for the presentation of members of a collegial institution.

3. The biographical data of the candidates must be distributed to the Seimas Members prior to the presentation.

4. Information concerning candidatures of Constitutional Court and Supreme Court judges must be published in the press at least two weeks before their presentation in the Seimas.

5. Candidates to Constitutional Court judges shall be submitted to Seimas three months prior to the procedure of their appointment.

6. Said candidates, including cases when collegial institutions (in corpore) are being formed, must attend the Seimas sitting at which they are presented.

7. After being presented, candidates to Constitutional Court and Supreme Court judges as well as candidates to heads of State institutions shall be granted the floor (for a maximum of ten minutes).

8. All candidates must, without exception, answer questions put to them by Members of the Seimas: up to 15 minutes shall be allotted to each candidate to the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court judge as well as to every other individual candidate, and up to 30 minutes shall be allotted to all of the candidates to a collegial institution.

Article 201. Consideration of Candidatures at Committee and Parliamentary Group Meetings

1. After being presented, candidatures shall be considered by the Seimas parliamentary groups and appropriate Committees.

2. Parliamentary groups and committees shall have the right to invite candidates, at a time co-ordinated therewith, to attend their respective meetings in order to pose questions to them.

3. Parliamentary groups and committees must present their conclusions concerning candidatures to the Seimas within seven days from the presentation of the candidature.

Article 202. Consideration of Candidatures at Seimas Sitting

1. Proposed candidatures must be considered in a sitting of the Seimas within ten days from their presentation.

1. This sitting must be attended by the person who presented the candidatures as well as the candidates, including candidates to collegial institutions (in corpore).

3. The conclusions of parliamentary groups and committees shall be heard first. Thereafter a discussion shall be held, during the end whereof the candidates and the person who presented the candidatures shall be granted the floor (for a maximum of 10 minutes).

4. Thereafter the Seimas shall take a vote concerning the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and of other officers, the appointment or formation of a collegial institution (in corpore), or the approval of a candidature appointed by the President of the Republic.

Article 203. The Oath of State Officer˙s in the Seimas

1.Prior to the commencement of work, judges of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court judges shall take an oath in the Seimas to be loyal to the Republic of Lithuania and its Constitution, and to administer justice only in accordance with the laws.

2. The State Controller, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, as well as other newly-appointed officers of the State shall publicly take an oath during a sitting of the Seimas if it is so provided in the laws regulating the activities of those State institutions.

Article 204. Time Limits of Officer˙s of State Appointment to a Vacant Position

If an officer of the State or a court judge is dismissed, resigns, or for some other reason cannot continue to carry on his or her duties, during a session of the Seimas another person must be appointed to said post or the candidature for an appropriate post must be approved within one month of the beginning of the vacancy or the beginning of the session.

PART VII

SUPERVISORY ACTIVITIES OF THE SEIMAS

Chapter XXXIII

Accountability of the Government and Other State Officers to the Seimas

Article 205. Informing Seimas concerning Decrees Adopted by the Government and the Separate Opinion of the State Controller

1. Within three workdays after adoption the Government of the Republic of Lithuania decrees and orders of the Prime Minister, copies of these documents must be delivered to the Seimas for distribution among all of the Seimas Board Members, committees and parliamentary groups.

2. If the State Controller has not agreed with the decree of the Government and therefore expressed a separate opinion about the decree of the Government, he shall, within 3 working days following the sitting of the Government, notify the Seimas of this in writing.

3. Upon having received the separate opinion of the State Controller, the Seimas Chancellor shall, not later than within two working days, refer it to the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs and, if necessary, to other Seimas committees as well.

4. The separate opinion of the State Controller concerning the decrees adopted by the Government shall be considered by the Seimas committees at the next committee meeting.

Article 206. Accounting by Government Members and Heads of State Institutions

1. At the request of the Seimas, the Government or individual ministers must account to the Seimas for their respective activities.

2. The above shall also apply to heads of other State institutions who are either appointed by the Seimas or for whose appointment the approval of the Seimas is required, with the exception of courts.

3. Persons who are invited shall answer questions posed by the Seimas Members, and shall furnish other information concerning their own activities and the activities of the institutions subordinate to them.

4. When drawing up the week˙s work programme of the Seimas, it shall be established which State institution head shall answer the questions and interpellations of the Seimas Members that week.

5. Heads of State institutions, who are appointed by the Seimas or the appointment whereof requires Seimas approval, shall render an annual accounting (usually by March 1) of the institution˙s annual activity. Upon receipt of such accounting, the Seimas Chancellor shall advise the Seimas of this and the latter shall decide, which committee should be tasked with analysing the submitted report. Upon analysing, the committee shall prepare a conclusion and draft of a decision, which will be considered at the Seimas sitting along with the report by the head of the State institution. The Seimas shall adopt a resolution regarding the head˙s accounting and institution˙ s activity.

Article 207. Annual Report of the Government and Discussion

1. Every year (prior to March 1) the Government must submit its annual activity report, in which also priority activities for the immediate future must be discussed. The report on Government activities shall be given by the Prime Minister, who replies to questions posed during the report, by Seimas Members. The questions shall be posed following the same procedure as during the Government Hour.

2. During the Government report presentation at the Seimas sitting all the Ministers shall also be in attendance and according to the wishes of the Seimas Members, will also reply to questions.

3. Following presentation of the Government report, it shall be considered by the committees of the Seimas and a special discussion at the Seimas will be held, at the conclusion whereof the Seimas may adopt a resolution. The Seimas Opposition leader and representatives of opposition parliamentary groups shall take the floor first in the discussion.

Article 208. Replies by Government Members to Questions Posed during the Seimas Sitting

1. During a session of the Seimas, at the beginning of each Thursday evening plenary sitting of the Seimas, during the Government Hour, Members of the Government, shall for a period of 60 minutes answer questions of the Seimas Members submitted orally.

2. Members of Seimas may pose some urgent and socially significant questions. The presiding person may permit non-answering of questions which in his estimation, are not urgent and have no social significance.

3. Should, the posed question, in the estimation of the Member of the Government or presiding person, require a comprehensive and detailed response, such a question must be submitted in writing per request of a Government Member or presiding person.

4. The presiding person may interrupt any question which, in his estimation, is similar to the statement or expressed opinion of a Seimas Member.

5. Questions shall be submitted in the following sequence: the Seimas Opposition leader may pose 2 questions at the start, later questions may be posed by the representatives of all parliamentary groups in succession, starting with the parliamentary groups of the opposition and taking into account the size of the parliamentary groups.

6. A Seimas Member may advise the Government Member in advance of the type of question he is preparing to ask him.

7. The presiding officer may at his own discretion, permit posing of additional question to a minister, who has answered a question. Such additional questions may be posed by any Seimas Member, however that Seimas Member whose question the minister answered, shall have priority in posing an additional question.

8. The minister may request to postpone his answer until the next Government Hour. In this instance, the unanswered question of the Seimas Member shall be included in the minutes of the sitting.

9. The minister to whom a question was addressed, may request that another minister answers the question, should this question belong to the area of competence of another minister.

10. The minister may at his own discretion refuse to answer the question.

11. The decisions of the presiding officer are non contested during the course of the Government Hour, however, a Seimas Member, who shall not be satisfied with the minister˙s answer or whose question has not been recognised by the presiding officer as not urgent or having no social significance may after the close of the Government Hour, declare, that he is submitting his question in writing.

12. The duration of questions posed orally may not exceed one minute, and the answer of a member of the Government may not last longer than two minutes.

13. Before a sitting begins, ten Seimas Members may submit to the Secretariat of the sittings a written questionfor a member of the Government present at the sitting, concerning an urgent problem with the request that an answer should be given to it during the same sitting. One Seimas Member may sign not more than one such request.

14. At the end of the sitting an answer of the Government member to such a question shall be allotted not more than 20 minutes. By the decision of the Seimas the time allotted for an answer may be extended. The Seimas Members who have signed the request shall have the right of priority to pose oral questions. Should the member of the Government request so, he shall be provided with a possibility to answer the submitted question at the next sitting, but not later than within three days.

Article 209. Answers by Heads of State Institutions to Questions Posed by Seimas Member at a Seimas Sitting

1. During a Seimas session, members of the Government, the State Controller and heads of other state institutions appointed by the Seimas or whose appointment requires Seimas approval as well as other heads of state institutions except judges must, every Tuesday in the course of the Government Half Hour, answer written questions submitted in advance by the Seimas Members.

2. Written questions shall be submitted through the Secretariat of the sittings no later than 2 days prior to the sitting.

3. Twenty-four hours prior to the sitting of the Seimas, the Assembly of Elders shall determine who of the members of the Government are to answer questions submitted to them in writing, as a rule, taking into account the number of questions submitted in writing.

4. The Chancellor of the Seimas shall establish the sequence of questions which are planned to be answered and shall inform the Assembly of Elders thereof before the sitting of the Seimas.

5. Fifteen minutes shall be allotted for answering questions of the Seimas Members which have been submitted in advance.

6. The remaining time shall be used for answering additionally posed oral questions. Members of the Seimas whose questions submitted in writing are being answered by a member of the Government shall have priority in posing additional oral questions. The remaining time shall be allotted for answering questions of other Members of the Seimas in proportion to the membership of parliamentary groups; the Seimas Opposition leader and elders of the opposition parliamentary groups shall have the right to pose questions first.

7. Having received the recommendations or proposals of Seimas committees, commissions and parliamentary groups, the members of the Government and other State officers must consider them and give an answer within 15 days from the receipt thereof.

Article 210. Steps Required Seeking to Bring Criminal Action Charges against State Officers

1. Criminal action may not be taken against the Prime Minister, ministers, or judges; said officials may not be arrested, or their liberty may not be in any other way restricted without the prior consent of the Seimas or, in the period between the sessions of the Seimas, without the prior consent of the President of the Republic.

2. Should a motion be submitted by the Procurator General of the Republic of Lithuania to institute criminal proceedings against the Prime Minister, an individual minister or a judge, the Seimas shall take the following actions:

1) if the Prime Minister or minister are Members of Seimas, and the judge is the chairman or judge of the Constitutional Court, chairman or judge of the Supreme Court, chairman or judge of the Court of Appeals, the Seimas shall adopt decisions according to Article 23 of this Statute;

2) if the Prime Minister or minister are not Seimas Members, and the judge is not a chairman or judge of the Constitutional Court, chairman or judge of the Supreme Court, chairman or judge of the Court of Appeals, the Seimas shall decide whether or not a commission of inquiry shall be formed for approval of bringing criminal action against the Prime Minister, minister or judge. In this instance, actions shall be taken pursuant to paragraphs 2,4,5 and 6 of Article 23 of this Statute.

Article 211. Immunity from Prosecution for Speeches in the Seimas

The Prime Minister and ministers may not be subject to prosecution for speeches given in the Seimas, however they may be held accountable for personal insult or slander, in accordance with general procedure.

Chapter XXXIV

Written Questions and Inquiries

Article 212. Concept and Presentation of Written Question

A question which has been submitted in writing by a Seimas Member or a group thereof, to a Government Member or head of state institution, to which they expect to receive an answer in writing, shall be deemed a written question.

Article 213. Concept of Inquiry and Right to Present such

1. A Member of Seimas or a group thereof shall inquiry in writing to a Government member or other state institution head, who is appointed by the Seimas or whose appointment requires Seimas approval, excepting courts, requesting to obtain information concerning his activities and adopted decisions.

2. A question in connection with which a Seimas Member or a group thereof has contacted a State institution, however, in their estimation, has not been adequately examined or had been resolved negatively, shall be considered an inquiry.

3. The Assembly of Elders may also decide that even a type of question, whose state or social significance shall be recognised by one of the committees or a Seimas parliamentary group, shall also be deemed an inquiry.

Article 214. Submission of Written Question and Inquiry

1. The Secretariat of sittings shall register written questions and inquiries and transfer such to the Seimas Chancellor, who shall endorse them and transfer them to a corresponding officer.

2. During the Seimas sitting, the Seimas Chancellor shall inform the Seimas regarding new written questions and inquiries of Seimas Members, as well as about the replies received in writing, prior to the sitting.

3. Written questions and inquiries of Seimas Members addressed to the Government and State institutions and their replies to inquiries of the Seimas Members, shall be published in the 'Seimas Chronicle.'

4. Presenter of a written question or inquiry, must indicate the specific official whom it is directed.

5. Presenter of an inquiry shall have the right to retract his inquiry at any time.

Article 215. Response to Written Question or Inquiry

1. The time limit of a response to a written question or inquiry may not exceed ten days from receipt of a written question or inquiry, while the time limit of inquiry examination during a Seimas sitting, must be within ten days of receipt of response to an inquiry.

2. Should the officer to whom a written question or inquiry has been addressed, shall be unable to reply by the established time limit, he must provide an explanation in writing and propose his own time limit, but to be no later than one month from receipt of the written question or inquiry, however if the presenters of the inquiry do not agree with these reasons, deliberation of the inquiry must be organised by the established time limit.

Article 216. Examination of Inquiry at Seimas Sitting

1. During the session, inquiries shall be examined at Seimas sittings at least twice a month.

2. Should at least 1/5 of Seimas Members request examination of an inquiry during the Seimas sitting, the inquiry shall be examined on a mandatory basis.

3. Those inquiries which shall be submitted by members of opposition parliamentary groups, shall be examined first.

4. The presenter (at least one representative thereof) must take part in the examination of an inquiry. Whenever the presenter shall not participate in the sitting, examination of the inquiry shall be postponed. Should the presenter fail to participate in the sitting, without giving prior notice, the inquiry shall be annulled.

5. Presenter of an inquiry may not preside at the sitting, in which his inquiry shall be discussed.

6. An inquiry during a Seimas sitting shall be examined at the sitting according to the following procedure:

1) speech of person submitting inquiry (up to five minutes);

2) response of officer to whom the question has been submitted (up to 15 minutes);

3) discussion, if such shall be requested by some committee or parliamentary group.

7. The floor shall normally be granted in sequence to those in support and against the response to the inquiry addressed to Members of the Seimas. Should the Seimas fail to decide to continue the discussion, no more than 4 Seimas Members shall be accorded the floor.

8. Should the response to the query fail to satisfy the presenters of inquiry, they may submit a draft of a resolution to be deliberated by the Seimas, wherein the Seimas shall evaluate the response.

Chapter XXXV

Dismissal of Seimas Officers and State Institution Heads

Article 217. Proposal to Dismiss an Officer

1. Proposals to dismiss a Seimas officer or a head of a state institution who is appointed by the Seimas, with the exception of cases of impeachment proceedings as provided for in the Constitution, must be considered when they are presented by a justified letter from the Board of the Seimas, a committee, or at least 1/5 of the Seimas Members. A committee may not propose to remove the chairman of another committee from office.

2. Petitions concerning the removal of an officer from office shall be filed with the Seimas Chairman; petitions to remove the Seimas Chairman from office shall be lodged with the First Deputy Chairman of the Seimas.

3. Such petitions must be announced in the next sitting of the Seimas.

4. The Members of the Seimas may not request to remove the same officer from office more than once during a single session.

Article 218. Procedure of Dismissal of an Officer

1. The officer of the Seimas whose removal from office is under discussion may not preside over that sitting.

2. During discussions concerning the dismissal of an officer of the Seimas or head of a state institution, the first person to be granted the floor shall be the representative of the initiators of the issue concerning removal from office (for up to ten minutes); thereafter, the floor shall be granted to the officer whose removal from office is under consideration (for up to 30 minutes). The latter shall then be given up to an additional 30 minutes to answer questions.

3. The subsequent discussion shall be continued according to the general procedure.

4. Decisions concerning the dismissal of Seimas officers or heads of State institutions shall be adopted by secret ballot with a majority vote of more than half of all Seimas Members.

Chapter XXXVI

Interpellation and Non Confidence in the Government

Article 219. Submission of Interpellation

1. During the session, a group of at least 1/5 Members of the Seimas may submit an interpellation to the Prime Minister or minister, requesting that said officers present information concerning the reasons for the decisions adopted by these officers.

2. No signature may be recalled after the interpellation has been submitted to the Chancellor of the Seimas, who shall register it without delay and give it to the appropriate member of the Government and Seimas Members.

3. In the course of one session, the Seimas Members may not repeatedly submit an interpellation to the same Government member.

Article 220. Written Response to Interpellation

1. Upon receipt of an interpellation a Government member must within two weeks time, submit a written response to the Seimas Chairman, which the Seimas Members shall be familiarised with.

2. Upon receipt of a reply to the interpellation, the Seimas must deliberate said reply at a sitting during its session, within five workdays.

Article 221. Procedure of Consideration of Interpellation in a Seimas Sitting

1. An interpellation shall be considered in sittings of the Seimas according to the following procedure:

1) a speech by the representative of the persons who submitted the interpellation (for up to ten minutes);

2) a reply by the officer who received the interpellation (for up to 30 minutes);

3) answers to questions posed by the Seimas Members to the officer who received the interpellation (for up to 30 minutes); questions shall be addressed according to the same procedure as during the Government Hour proceedings;

4) a discussion during which, as a rule, the floor shall be granted in turn to the Members of the Seimas who approve of and to those who object to the reply to the interpellation;

5) concluding remarks by the officer who has received the interpellation.

6) concluding remarks by the person representing the interpellator;

7) the formation of the editorial commission according to the requirements set forth in Article 71 of this Statute for drawing up the draft resolution of the Seimas concerning the interpellation. The Members who submitted the interpellation must constitute at least 1/3 of the commission members.

Article 222. Seimas Resolution on Interpellation and Consequences of Adoption thereof

1. Draft resolution of the Seimas concerning an interpellation must be presented to the Seimas for consideration no later than on the next day of sittings.

2. The Seimas˙ approval or disapproval of the reply of the Prime Minister or an individual minister must be stated in the draft of the resolution of the Seimas concerning the interpellation.

3. In the event that the reply of the Prime Minister or the individual minister is recognised as inadequate and non-confidence in the Prime Minister or the individual minister is declared in a draft resolution of the Seimas, said draft may be adopted by majority vote of more than a half of all the Seimas Members; said voting shall be done by secret ballot.

4. Should such resolution be adopted, the Prime Minister or the individual minister in whom non-confidence has been declared must submit his resignation.

6. When the Prime Minister resigns, the Government must resign in corpore.

Article 223. Non-confidence in the Government

1. During a session of the Seimas, a group of at least 1/5 of the Seimas Members may submit a draft of a justified resolution wherein direct non-confidence in the Government is declared.

2. Such draft resolution shall be considered at the Seimas sitting in the same procedure as established by Articles 219-221 of this Statute, as an interpellation to the Prime Minister, but an editorial commission will not be formed.

3. During the consideration at the Seimas sitting of the issue of non-confidence in the Government, Seimas Members may pose questions to all of the ministers, providing the opportunity for the ministers to give replies (of up to 60 minutes).

4. After the consideration, non-confidence in the Government shall be put to the vote, immediately.

5. A resolution concerning a direct non-confidence in the Government may be adopted by secret ballot, by a majority vote of more than half of all of the Seimas Members.

Chapter XXXVII

Control of State Budget Performance

Article 224. Supervision of State Budget Performance

1. The general permanent control of State Budget supervision shall be exercised by the Committee on Budget and Finance.

2. Other committees of the Seimas may follow the information regarding the performance of the budget articles which are within their competence.

3. The State Budget performance shall be considered at the sitting of the Seimas at least once every 6 months.

4. In such an event, the Government shall present the State Budget performance statement for consideration.

Article 225. Presentation of State Budget Performance Statement

1. The Government shall prepare and, by March 31, present to the Seimas Chairman the State Budget performance statement for the previous year.

2. The State Controller must present to the Seimas Chancellor a report on the State Budget performance statement not later than within six months from the date on which the Government presented the statement to the Seimas Chairman.

3. The Seimas Chancellor shall, within two workdays, present copies of the above statement and of the State Controller˙s report to the Committee on Budget and Finance, as well as to other committees and parliamentary groups.

4. Upon receipt of the State Controller˙s report, the report of the Government on the State Budget performance statement as well as an additional report of the State Controller shall be heard at the next sitting.

4.Within two weeks of the sitting, the committees shall consider the State Budget performance statement and prepare conclusions.

Article 226. Consideration of State Budget Performance Statement by Seimas Sitting

1. The State Budget performance statement and the State Controller˙s conclusions regarding it together with the draft of the State Budget of the forthcoming year must be considered at the sitting of the Seimas by November 20.

2. A report of the Committee on Budget and Finance as well as the conclusions of other committees shall be heard at the sitting.

3. Upon the completion of discussions, a resolution of the Seimas concerning the performance of the State Budget shall be adopted.

4. In the event that the State Budget performance statement is not approved, the Seimas shall resolve the issue concerning the restoration of legality of revenues or expenditures. An appropriate resolution shall be drafted for that purpose, and a vote on non-confidence in the Prime Minister or an individual minister may also be taken according to the procedure established in Articles 222-223 of this Statute.

PART VIII

IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

Chapter XXXVIII

The Proposal to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings and the Preliminary Investigation

Article 227. Concept of Impeachment Process

1. Impeachment proceedings shall be the parliamen­tary procedure which shall be applied by the Seimas to the persons who are specified in Article 74 of the Constitution for their actions which discredit the credibility of the authorities, in order to solve the question of the responsibility of such individuals.

2. In the event that a concrete individual is found guilty during this procedure, the person shall be dismissed from his or her post or his or her mandate as a Seimas Member shall be abolished.

Article 228. State Officers who shall be Applied Impeachment Proceedings

Legal action, in accordance with the impeachment proceedings, may be instituted against the President of the Republic, the Chairman and judges of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman and judges of the Supreme Court, the Chairman and judges of the Court of Appeals, and the Members of the Seimas.

Article 229. Grounds for Initiating Impeachment Proceedings

1. There shall be grounds for initiating impeachment proceedings in the event that an individual specified in Article 228 of this Statute has:

1) grossly violated the Constitution;

2) breached an oath; or

3) been suspected of committing a felony.

2. Only one of the grounds specified in this Article shall suffice to in­itiate impeachment proceedings. Having initiated impeachment proceedings according to one of the reason indicated in paragraph 1 of this Article, it shall not be permitted the impeachment proceedings owing to the same actions by a specific person, to alter the basis for the impeachment proceedings.

3. In instances where it shall become clear that the persons indicated in Article 74 of the Constitution have committed a felony and that there is an effective court judgement in existence, in resolving the issue of removing these persons from their duties or rescinding their Seimas Member˙s mandate, impeachment proceedings shall be implemented without applying Articles 233-242 and Articles of Chapter 39.

Article 230. The Right to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings

1. The right to propose to Seimas the initiation of impeach­ment proceedings against a concrete individual for reasons specified in Article 228 shall be granted to a group of Seimas Members consisting of at least 1/4 of all of the Seimas Members, the President of the Republic, and the Judges˙ Court of Honour if the case concerns the judges of the Supreme Court and the chairman and judges of the Court of Ap­peals.

2. The entities indicated in paragraph 1 of this Article shall have the right to make a proposal to the Seimas to initiate impeachment proceedings against a concrete person regardless of whether or not there exists a statement to the Seimas by the Prosecutor General concerning a felony committed by this person.

Article 231. Report by Prosecutor General regarding State Officer Suspected of having Committed a Felony

1. Upon establishing that persons referred to in Ar­ticle 228 of this Statute are suspected of having committed a felony, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania shall immediately inform the Seimas thereon and submit appropriate material thereto.

2. In the event that the President of the Republic is suspected of having committed a felony, the Seimas shall carry out preliminary actions of impeachment proceedings provided for in Article 236 and the following Articles of Part VIII of this Statute.

3. Upon hearing the Prosecutor General˙s report on a felony committed by other persons, the Seimas shall decide whether to give its approval to institute legal action against the con­crete person (according to the procedure provided for in this Statute) or to initiate preliminary impeachment proceedings (provided there exists a proposal initiated by the entities indicated in the first paragraph of Article 230 of this Statute). Should it be decided by the Seimas to institute legal proceedings against the aforementioned persons, preliminary actions in the impeachment proceedings may not be initiated in the Seimas relative to the same charge until such time as the issue of legal proceedings shall be resolved, i.e., a decision of acquittal, effective court decision involving charges have been issued by the court or legal proceedings have been terminated.

Article 232. Bringing a Charge concerning a Committed Felony

1. While bringing a charge concerning a committed felony, the statutes of limitation provided for in criminal laws shall be applicable.

2. In other cases, no statutes of limitation shall be applicable notwithstanding when the misdemeanour has been committed with which an individual is charged with, however, the committed misdemeanour must have been committed while he or she was in office referred to in Article 228 of this Statute.

Article 233. Proposal to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings

A proposal to initiate impeachment proceedings must be submitted to the Seimas in writing - in the form of a motion, while proposals made by the President of the Republic shall be presented in the form of an appeal by indicating the con­crete person, the charge formulated against said person, arguments, major facts, and evidence or sources thereof.

Article 234. Time Limits of Proposal to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings

Normally the proposal to initiate impeachment proceedings is submitted during sessions of the Seimas. The Seimas Chairman or Deputy Chairman shall immediately present such proposals to the Seimas Members and shall, no later than within one week during the session or within one week from the beginning of the session, submit a proposal to the Seimas to consider the issue.

Article 235. Special Investigation Commission

Upon hearing a proposal made by the initiators specified in Article 230 or their representative con­cerning the initiation of impeachment proceedings against a con­crete individual, the Seimas shall form a special commission to investigate the validity and seriousness of the submitted charges and to prepare the finding concerning the proposal to initiate impeachment proceedings. In its work the commission shall be governed by the provisions found in Chapter 12 of this Statute.

Article 236. Procedure of Formation of Special Investigation Commission

1. A special investigation commission shall be formed from the Seimas Members, representatives of the initiators of the impeachment proceedings, and lawyers who are employed at courts, investigative structures, or prosecutor˙s office.

2. Such lawyers must comprise from one third to one half of the com­mission members. While working on the commission, the lawyers shall enjoy equal rights with other members of the commission, but they must strictly adhere to the principle of political impartiality.

3. As a rule, there may be no more than 12 members on the commission.

4. Members of the commission shall be proposed by the Seimas majority or the minority and initiators of the impeachment proceedings according to the principles set forth in Article 71 of this Statute which shall be entitled to propose 1/3 of all the commission members.

5. Along with the formation of the commission, the Seimas shall appoint the commission chairman and deputy chairman, and shall fix the dates for the execution of investigation. At least one of the heads of the commission must be a professional lawyer.

Article 237. Information on Work of Special Investigation Commission

Only the chairman of the commission or a member authorised by the chairman shall inform the press and other mass media about the course of the investigation.

Article 238. Meetings of Special Investigation Commission

1. Sittings of the special Seimas investigation commission concerned with impeachment proceedings shall normally be closed.

2. The commission˙s sittings shall be recorded in the minutes. Minutes shall be kept by a secretary appointed by the commission, according to the regulations of keeping minutes of court sittings. The minutes of the sitting shall be signed by the chairman and secretary of the com­mission.

3. During sittings, explanations as well as arguments of the initiators of impeachment proceedings and defendants (or their representatives) shall be heard, wit­nesses shall be questioned, the list of whom shall be made up according to the proposals submitted by all the members of the special investigation commission and the person against whom the impeachment proceedings are directed, and other evidence shall be accumu­lated, examined and evaluated; when necessary, experts and specialists shall be invited and discussions shall be held.

4. The defendant˙s lawyer may also take part in the sittings.

Article 239. Questioning of Witnesses and Experts

1. Witnesses and experts shall be summoned and questioned in accordance with the rules of the criminal procedure: they shall be warned of their responsibility for avoiding or refusing to give evidence as well as for giving knowingly false evidence; the giving of such warnings shall be confirmed by wit­nesses˙ signatures.

2. Minutes concerning the questioning of wit­nesses shall be recorded and, after a witness has read them, may be supplemented or amended, and then must be signed by the wit­ness.

3. Experts shall present their findings in writing after having signed them.

Article 240. Appeal to the Constitutional Court

In those cases when impeachment proceedings concerning a gross violation of the Constitution have been initiated against an individual, the Seimas shall, on the proposal of the special investigation commission or on its own initiative, appeal to the Constitutional Court requesting the conclusion whether concrete actions of said individual contradict the Constitution.

Article 241. Content of Special Investigation Commission's Findings

1. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the special investigation commission shall present its findings which shall contain:

1) the es­sence of the charge, the place, time, means, motives and other essential circumstances of the committed felony;

2) the established facts and evidence; and

3) the explanations of the defendant.

2. In the event that the presented charges have not been proved, it shall be in­dicated in the findings and the actions of investigation which have been carried out shall be described in brief.

3. Taking into account the results of the investigation, it shall be summarised at the end of the findings whether there are grounds to institute impeachment proceedings in the Seimas or whether such grounds do not exist.

Article 242. Approval of Special Investigation Commission˙s Findings

1. More than half of majority votes of all the commission members are necessary for the approval of the findings. The results of the voting shall be recorded in the minutes of the sitting. The approved findings shall be signed by the chairman or deputy chairman of the commission.

2. The commission shall prepare a draft resolution on the basis of approved findings.

3. The prepared findings along with the draft of the Seimas resolution and other documents shall be handed by the special investigation commission to the Seimas Chairman, who in turn, presents these documents for Seimas consideration at the next sitting.

Article 243. Formulation of Charges and Appointment of Prosecutors

1. Should the special investigation commission come to the conclusion that there are grounds for initiating impeachment proceedings in the Seimas, it must formulate concrete charges at the end of the commission˙s findings or in a separate document.

2. The special investigation commission shall also decide who on behalf of the committee shall substantiate the charge and carry out other functions of the prosecutor in the Seimas during the im­peachment proceedings.

3. The commission may appoint up to seven prosecutors - Members of the Seimas. The commission shall inform the Seimas of their names and powers, in writing.

Chapter XXXIX

Impeachment Proceedings in the Seimas

Article 244. Non-approval of Impeachment Proceedings Initiation

1. In the event that the special investigation commission reaches the conclusion that there are no grounds for the initia­tion of impeachment proceedings, the Seimas shall consider the validity of motives and arguments which have been formulated in the findings and shall decide whether said findings shall be as­sented.

2. If the Seimas approves the findings by a majority vote of the Seimas Members who attend the sitting, it shall be held that there was no assent to initiate impeachment proceedings.

3. Impeachment proceedings based on the same charges may only be in­stituted against the same person only after a one- year period, and only under the condition that new circumstances have come to light.

4. In the event that the Seimas fails to approve the commission˙s conclusion that there are no grounds for the initiation of im­peachment proceedings, the Seimas must decide who shall be charged with the execution of a repeat investigation - the same investigation commission or a new one.

Article 245. Necessary Arrangements and Decisions of Seimas in Impeachment Proceedings

Upon hearing the findings of the special investigation commission according to which there are grounds to initiate impeachment proceedings, the Seimas shall carry out necessary arrangements and shall adopt the following decisions required for the execu­tion of this procedure:

1) shall adopt a resolution to initiate impeachment proceedings in the Seimas against a concrete person;

2) shall establish the commencement of the impeachment proceedings no later than after 15 days from adoption of the resolution and schedule of sittings;

3) shall adopt a resolution to invite the Chairman of the Supreme Court or another judge thereof to preside over this procedure, and in the event the impeachment proceedings are instituted against the Chairman of the Supreme Court or a judge thereof - to invite the Chairman of the Constitutional Court or another judge thereof to preside over this procedure;

4) as necessary, shall request the Con­stitutional Court to provide findings whether concrete actions of an individual against whom impeachment is initiated contradict the Constitution; and

5) shall perform other necessary preparatory actions.

Article 246. Start of Impeachment Proceedings in the Seimas

1. Impeachment proceedings shall start in the Seimas on the fixed date. They shall be presided over by the Chairman of the Supreme Court or another judge thereof, or the Chairman of the Constitutional Court or another judge thereof.

2. One more judge of the Supreme Court or correspondingly, of the Constitutional Court must take part in all sittings, from the first to the last, of the impeachment proceedings, and, as necessary, shall act for the Chairman of the hearing.

3. Upon announcing the commencement of the impeachment proceed­ings, the Seimas shall become an impeachment institution during the course of sittings of these proceedings in which investigation shall be carried out in compliance with the principles and rules of criminal procedure if this Statute does not provide otherwise.

4. The minutes of the hearing shall be kept by the secretary appointed by the Chairman according to the rules of recording court hearings.

5. Impeachment proceedings in the Seimas shall be public. They may be broadcast by television and radio.

Article 247. Major Parts of the Impeachment Proceedings

Impeachment proceedings in the Seimas shall be comprised of the following major parts: the preparatory part, the court investigation, court disputes, and the defendant˙s final word concerning the articles of impeachment and voting on the presented charges.

Article 248. Preparatory Part of Sitting

During the preparatory part of the hearing the essence of the impeachment case under investigation, the defen­dant, and the prosecutors and their representatives shall be in­troduced, their rights and duties shall be explained, their re­quests shall be heard and decisions thereon shall be passed, and the possibilities to continue investigation of the case shall be clarified.

Article 249. Court Investigation

1. The court investigation shall be commenced by reading the material of the charge aloud and hearing the defendant˙s explanations.

2. Then the defendant and witnesses shall be questioned, the findings of the experts shall be heard, and the evidence shall be examined.

3. Prior to the end of the court investigation, the prosecutors shall have the right to define the formulation of the charge and remove technical errors which have been found therein.

4. Defined formulations of the charge must be delivered in writing to the defendant and the chairman of the hearing, who shall immediately announce them to the Seimas Mem­bers.

5. Upon receiving the defined formulations of the charge, the defendant and the defendant˙s defender shall have the right to demand the continuation or renewal of the court investigation.

Article 250. Court Disputes and Final Words

1. Court disputes shall be the speeches and remarks of the prosecutor, the defendant or the representatives thereof.

2. The right to the final remark shall always belong to the defender, and in the event of his or her absence - to the defendant.

3. At the conclusion of the court disputes the defendant shall be granted the final word. It shall not be permitted to ask ques­tions or make remarks at that time.

Article 251. Powers of Chairman of Impeachment Proceedings Hearing

1. Issues concerning procedure shall be settled by the chairman of the hearing.

2. As necessary, the chairman may ask the Seimas to voice its opinion or request approval of his or her decisions.

3. Only upon the permission of the chairman may the Members of the Seimas pose questions to the participants of the proceedings.

4. The Members of the Seimas shall not be permitted to speak about the essence of the case or to attempt to influence the course of the proceedings in any other manner. However, they may protest the chairman˙s refusal to permit questioning or a hasty decision to terminate interrogation, and may reject them by voting.

Article 252. Statement of Resignation

1. The defendant shall have the right to resign from his office or to renounce the mandate of the Seimas Member by submitting an application in writing, at any stage of impeachment proceedings but only prior to the beginning of voting.

2. Such ap­plications must be immediately satisfied.

3. In such a case, the im­peachment proceedings shall be terminated and it shall be made official by a resolution of the Seimas.

Article 253. Ballot Paper for Voting on Wording of Charge

1. The final part of the legal procedure, a secret vote for the articles of impeachment, shall start after the defendant˙s final word.

2. Each article of impeachment shall be put on a separate ballot paper, a sample whereof shall be approved by the Seimas.

3. After the text of the charge, the alternative versions of the response: 'I charge' ('for') or 'I do not charge' ('against') shall be made thereon.

4. Prior to distribution, ballot papers shall be marked by a special seal of the chairman of the hearing.

5. When receiving ballot papers, Seimas Members shall sign on the ballot paper delivery list.

Article 254. Procedure of Secret Ballot on Wording of Charges and Announcement of Voting Results

1. A group for the calculation of votes shall be formed in compliance with the requirements set forth in Article 119 of this Statute.

2. Each article of impeachment shall be put to vote separately. Only the Seimas Mem­bers shall take part in the voting.

3. Upon calculation of the votes, the chairman of the hearing shall announce the voting results on each article of impeachment separately.

Article 255. Entry of Voting Results in Minutes of the Hearing

1. If 3/5 of all the Seimas Members vote for at least one article of impeachment, it shall be considered that the person has been impeached, i.e. the Seimas has found that the person is guilty of the felony in which he or she has been in­criminated.

2. In this case, on the basis of the report of the commission for the calculation of votes, the chairman of the sitting shall dictate the following entry of the minutes:

'Upon the execution of impeachment proceedings in the Seimas on _____________________

                                                                                                (date)

it has been determined by ______votes 'for', ______votes 'against', i.e. more than 3/5 by a majority vote of all of the Seimas Members, that citizen ____________________________________________

                                                                                                                (name, surname and post)

_______________________________________________________________________________________

(inscribed according to the text of the approved, article of impeachment)

therefore, from this day on, i.e. __________________________, he (or she) shall be removed from

                                                      (date)

his_____________________________________________________________________(or her) post

(shall be deprived of the man­date of Seimas Member)

by the decision of the Seimas.'

3. Then the chairman shall sign this entry and publicly an­nounce it during the Seimas sitting.

Article 256. Adoption of Wording of Charges

1. In the event that not a single article of im­peachment receives at least 3/5 of the votes of all the Seimas Members, it shall be considered that the Seimas has not approved the impeachment.

2. The chairman of the hearing shall announce this publicly and an appropriate entry thereon shall be made in the minutes of the sitting.

3. In cases where less than 3/5 but more than 1/2 of all the Seimas Members voted for the article of impeachment which cor­responds to the indications of a criminal offence, it shall be considered that the Seimas has assented to bringing a legal action against a concrete person with the exception of the President of the Republic.

Article 257. Minutes of Impeachment Proceedings Sittings

1. The minutes of the Seimas sittings shall be signed by the chairman of the hearing and the secretary of the hearing ap­pointed by him or her.

2. Entries of the minutes concerning the voting results shall be equated to the resolutions of the Seimas. They shall enter into effect from the moment of their announcement and must be implemented immediately.

3. Along with the voting results, they may not be appealed against or subjected to review.

Article 258. Removal from Post of Person Found Guilty

1. When, according to the procedure of impeachment, the Seimas finds that a concrete person is guilty, he/she shall be considered to have been removed from his or her post or to have been deprived of the mandate of a Seimas Member. Legal action may also be applied to him for committed felonies, according to the procedure established by laws.

2. Individuals who have resigned from their posts of their own accord or who have renounced mandates of a Seimas Member, shall lose the right of inviolability established by the Con­stitution, and and they may also be held liable in accordance with general procedure for the committed misdemeanours.

Chapter XXXX

Impeachment Proceedinds in the Seimas Upon Receiving a Copy of Judgement Conviction

Article 259. Impeachment Proceedings in the Seimas upon Receiving a Copy of Judgement of Conviction

1. Upon receiving a copy of the legal judgement of conviction, the Chairman of the Seimas or his deputy, shall immediately inform the Seimas Members thereof.

2. At the next meeting, the Chairman of the Seimas or his deputy shall submit the draft of the Seimas resolution.

3. The draft of the Seimas resolution shall appear as follows:

'Republic of Lithuania Seimas

Resolution

On ___________________ removal from the position of ________________

                             (name, surname)

(or For ________________________ deprivation of the mandate of a

                        (name, surname)

Member of the Seimas)

(date, No.)

Vilnius

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, taking into consideration the fact that a conviction passed by concerning ________________________________________________, has become effective

                                                      (name, surname)

on

____________________________________________________________________________________

(name of court, date of adoption of conviction)

whereby _____________________________________________________________________has been

                                                                     (name, surname)

convicted pursuant to Article ______________________ of the Republic of Lithuania Criminal Code _______________________________________________________________________________

(penalty)

resolves:

Article 1.

To remove __________________________________from ________________________position

   (name, surname)                           (position title)

(or To deprive _______________________________________ of the mandate of a Seimas Member)

                                       (name, surname)

according to procedure of impeachment proceedings.

Article 2.

The Resolution shall come into force from the day of passage.

4. In the course of that same sitting, the Seimas shall appoint the date of a sitting to deliberate a person˙s removal from office or deprivation of a Seimas Member˙s mandate. The date of deliberation must be appointed at least seven days after the day the sitting took place in the course of which this date has been set. The person regarding whom the draft of a Seimas resolution shall be proposed, shall be given written notice with signed receipt, of the date and time appointed by the Seimas when, based upon a legal judgement of conviction, the issue of his removal from office or deprivation of his Seimas Member˙s mandate shall be deliberated. The draft resolution stipulated in paragraph 3 of this Article and the Seimas Statute should be sent along with the notice and also, it should be proposed that information on whether he desires to participate in the impeachment proceedings, should be relayed in writing prior to the day of consideration. In providing information concerning his desire to participate, the person may indicate no more than two defenders or other representatives, who must be invited to the Seimas sitting. The person may also provide evidence, which bears significance in considering the issue of constitutional responsibility.

5. Should the person fail to provide a written reply within the established time limit, it shall be deemed as his refusal to take part in the impeachment proceedings. In this instance, paragraphs 8, 10, or 12 of this Article shall not apply in the impeachment proceedings.

6. During the impeachment proceedings carried out in accordance with the procedure established by this Article, the court conviction and other decisions adopted in the examination of the criminal case, shall not be considered and no discussion shall be held regarding their lawfulness and validity.

7. The Seimas sitting shall open with a report by the Chairman of the Seimas or his deputy, in which the essence of the legal judgement of conviction shall be presented.

8. The person regarding whom the draft of the Seimas resolution is being presented, shall be accorded the right to have the floor or upon his request, one of his defenders or representatives, speaking on his behalf, shall be granted the floor. The person regarding whom the draft of the Seimas resolution is being presented, or the defender or representative speaking on his behalf, may in his speech rely upon the evidence which bears significance in considering the issue of constitutional responsibility. Seimas Members may address questions to the person, in connection with whom the draft resolution of the Seimas is being presented, or a defender or representative speaking on his behalf.

9. Next, the floor is granted to Members of the Seimas: first, to those supporting the draft resolution of the Seimas.

10. Next, the floor is granted to defenders and representatives and, in the absence thereof, to the person against whom impeachment proceedings are being applied.

11. The Members of the Seimas and defenders and representatives who were granted the floor during the Seimas sitting shall have the right of reply. The right of final reply shall belong to the defender or representative, and in the absence thereof, to the person against whom impeachment proceedings are being applied.

12. The proceedings shall conclude with final remarks by the person in connection with whom the draft resolution of the Seimas is presented.

13. The Chairman of the Seimas sitting shall have the right to demand that only issues relevant to the impeachment proceedings be discussed in the course of the impeachment proceedings.

14. The person in connection with whom the draft of the Seimas resolution is being presented, shall have the right to resign from his position or to relinquish the mandate of a Seimas Member, by submitting a written statement to that effect, prior to commencement of voting. A person, serving a prison penalty, shall submit his written statement through the mail or through a person authorised by him. In this instance, the impeachment proceedings at the Seimas shall be terminated.

Article 260. Adoption of Resolution.

The Seimas resolution shall be adopted by secret ballot, with at least a 3/5 majority of the total Seimas Membership vote. If at least 3/5 of the total Seimas Membership have voted in favour of the Seimas resolution, it shall be deemed that the person is removed from his position (or he has been deprived of his mandate as a Member of the Seimas) through impeachment proceedings.

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 261. Decision on Unexpected Procedural Issues not Provided for in the Statute

1. All issues concerning the procedure of the Seimas activities, which are not provided for in this Statute and the laws, shall be proposed to decide upon by the Chairman of the Seimas sitting.

2. Such decision shall be adopted, following a brief explanation by the Chairman of the Seimas sitting without debate by a majority vote of the Seimas Members who participated in the voting.

Article 262. Procedure of Amendment of the Statute of the Seimas

The Statute of the Seimas and its separate articles may be repealed, supplemented or amended by a majority vote of more than half of all the Seimas Members.

Article 2. Coming into Force of Statute

This Statute of the Seimas shall come into force from February 1, 1999, except for paragraph 2 of Article 38, which shall establish that the parliamentary group may be comprised of at least seven Members of the Seimas. This provision shall come into force from the commencement of activities of the new Seimas. Up to that time the Seimas parliamentary group must be comprised of at least three Members of the Seimas.

CHAIRMAN OF THE SEIMAS

OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS