Case No 13/93                    
                                                                                
                                                                                
                 THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF                                    
                  THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA                                     
                                                                                
                         R U L I N G                                            
                                                                                
        On  the compliance of the Seimas of the Republic  of                    
Lithuania resolution "On the refusal of some members of  the                    
Central Electoral Committee to abide by the Law on Elections                    
to  the Seimas, upon nullifying the unlawful resolutions  of                    
the  Central Electoral Committee by the Supreme Court of the                    
Republic  of Lithuania", adopted on 23 March 1993, with  the                    
Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania                                       
                                                                                
                    30 June 1994, Vilnius                                       
                                                                                
       The   Constitutional  Court  of  the  Republic   of                      
Lithuania,  composed from the Justices of the Constitutional                    
Court   Algirdas  Gailiūnas,  Kęstutis  Lapinskas,    Zigmas                    
Levickis,  Vladas  Pavilonis, Pranas Vytautas  Rasimavičius,                    
Stasys Stačiokas, Teodora Staugaitienė, Stasys Šedbaras  and                    
Juozas Žilys,                                                                   
       the secretary of the hearing - Rolanda Stimbirytė,                       
       the petitioner - Seimas member Andrius Kubilius  and                     
Zenonas  Juknevičius, representatives  of  a  group  of  the                    
Seimas members,                                                                 
        the  party  concerned  - Juozas  Bernatonis,  Seimas                    
representative, Deputy Chairman of the Seimas,                                  
        pursuant  to the first part of Article  102  of  the                    
Constitution  of  the  Republic of  Lithuania  and  Part  1,                    
Article  1  of  the Law on the Constitutional Court  of  the                    
Republic of Lithuania, in its public hearing of 28 June 1994                    
conducted  the investigation of Case No 13/93 subsequent  to                    
the petition submitted to the Court by a group of the Seimas                    
members  requesting  to investigate if  the  Seimas  of  the                    
Republic  of  Lithuania resolution "On the refusal  of  some                    
members of the Central Electoral Committee to abide  by  the                    
Law on Elections to the Seimas, upon nullifying the unlawful                    
resolutions  of  the  Central  Electoral  Committee  by  the                    
Supreme Court of the Republic of Lithuania" is in compliance                    
with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.                             
                                                                                
       The Constitutional Court                                                 
                         has established:                                       
        The  Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on 23 March                    
1993  adopted the resolution "On the refusal of some members                    
of  the  Central Electoral Committee to abide by the Law  on                    
Elections  to  the  Seimas,  upon  nullifying  the  unlawful                    
resolutions  of  the  Central  Electoral  Committee  by  the                    
Supreme Court of the Republic of Lithuania"(Official Gazette                    
"Valstybės Žinios, 1993, No 10-241). Under item  1  of  this                    
resolution,   the  composition  of  the  Central   Electoral                    
Committee  was  changed, decreasing it by 13 members.  Under                    
item   2,   the  Seimas  obligated  the  Central   Electoral                    
Committee, pursuant to the decisions of the Supreme Court of                    
Lithuania, to meet the requirement of Article 79 of the  Law                    
on  Elections to the Seimas and publicize the final election                    
results  in  20-th  (Baltijos), 22-nd  (Pajūrio)  and  64-th                    
(Šakių) electoral areas.                                                        
        The  petitioner  - a group of the Seimas  members  -                    
requests  to  investigate  if  the  23  March  1993   Seimas                    
resolution  "On the refusal of some members of  the  Central                    
Electoral Committee to abide by the Law on Elections to  the                    
Seimas,  upon  nullifying the unlawful  resolutions  of  the                    
Central  Electoral  Committee by the Supreme  Court  of  the                    
Republic  of  Lithuania" is in conformity with  item  13  of                    
Article 67 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.                    
       The petitioner's request is grounded on the following                    
motives.                                                                        
        In  item 13 of Article 67 it is established that the                    
Seimas  is  entitled to the right only to form  the  Central                    
Electoral  Committee  and  to  change  its  composition.  In                    
Article  5  of  the Constitution it is set forth  that  "the                    
scope  of  the powers of the State shall be defined  by  the                    
Constitution", which means that the Seimas does not have the                    
power  to  obligate the Central Electoral Committee  in  any                    
way.                                                                            
        Pursuant  to these motives, the petitioner  requests                    
the  Constitutional Court to recognize that said  resolution                    
fails to conform to the provisions of item 13 of Article  67                    
of the Constitution.                                                            
        In  court  hearing the petitioner's  representatives                    
emphasized  that  the  Central  Electoral  Committee  is  an                    
independent institution, therefore, the Seimas did not  have                    
the  right  to  obligate it in any way. The  powers  of  the                    
Seimas are defined in Article 67 of the Constitution,  which                    
does not provide for such right.                                                
        The  representative of the party concerned explained                    
during  the preliminary investigation of the case, that  the                    
Seimas  resolution  in  dispute  does  not  contradict   the                    
provisions  of  item  13 of  Article 67 of the Constitution,                    
and submitted the following arguments.                                          
        The  petitioner  maintains that, under  item  13  of                    
Article  67  of the Constitution, the Seimas has  the  right                    
only to form the Central Electoral Committee and change  its                    
composition.  In the petitioner's opinion, the Seimas  acted                    
in  compliance with the Constitution, because item 1 of  the                    
Seimas  resolution established the change in the composition                    
of  the  Central Electoral Committee, decreasing  it  by  13                    
members, who had refused to abide by the Law on Elections to                    
the  Seimas.  In the opinion of the representatives  of  the                    
party  concerned, the arguments submitted by the  petitioner                    
may  be  applied only to item 2 of the Seimas resolution  in                    
dispute, because it established: "to commission the  Central                    
Electoral  Committee,  pursuant  to  the  decisions  of  the                    
Supreme  Court  of the Republic of Lithuania,  to  meet  the                    
requirement  of  Article 79 of the Law on Elections  to  the                    
Seimas and to publicize the final election results in  20-th                    
(Baltijos),  22-nd  (Pajūrio) and  64-th  (Šakių)  electoral                    
areas".  However,  in the opinion of the representatives  of                    
the  party  concerned, such commission  by  the  Seimas  was                    
predetermined by specific circumstances and the necessity to                    
prevent  violations of the Constitution, thus,  it  did  not                    
contradict the constitutional provisions. The Supreme  Court                    
of  the  Republic  of  Lithuania, subsequent  to  the  suits                    
brought   by  the  Democratic  Labour  Party  of  Lithuania,                    
recognized the decisions of the Central Electoral  Committee                    
to  nullify  the vote calculation records in some  electoral                    
districts,  as groundless. Meanwhile, the Central  Electoral                    
Committee  refused  to  execute  court  decisions   and   to                    
publicize the final election results in electoral areas,  as                    
well  as refused to meet the requirements of Article  79  of                    
the Law on Elections to the Seimas.                                             
        Under the Seimas resolution of 14 January 1993,  the                    
Commission was formed for the investigation of the  activity                    
of the Central Electoral Committee. The Seimas resolution in                    
dispute was adopted in accordance with the conclusions drawn                    
by the Commission. The representative of the party concerned                    
has  underlined, that the Constitutional Court did not exist                    
at   that   time,  therefore,  only  the  Central  Electoral                    
Committee   itself could eliminate its rough  violations  of                    
the  Law. In the opinion of the representative of the  party                    
concerned,  item 2 of the Seimas Act in dispute is  directly                    
related  to  the  change of the composition of  the  Central                    
Electoral  Committee. Furthermore, the Seimas obligation  in                    
dispute  did  not cause any new legal consequences,  because                    
the  Central Electoral Committee had to publicize the  final                    
results only after the Supreme Court decisions.                                 
        Conforming  to  the above mentioned  arguments,  the                    
representative   of   the  party  concerned   requests   the                    
Constitutional  Court to recognise that the  23  March  1993                    
Seimas  resolution "On the refusal of some  members  of  the                    
Central Electoral Committee to abide by the Law on Elections                    
to  the Seimas, upon nullifying the unlawful resolutions  of                    
the  Central Electoral Committee by the Supreme Court of the                    
Republic  of Lithuania" does not contradict the Constitution                    
of the Republic of Lithuania.                                                   
                                                                                
       The Constitutional Court                                                 
                         holds that:                                            
       1. In Article 5 of the Constitution it is established                    
that: "The scope of the powers of the State shall be defined                    
by  the Constitution". First of all, it means that the scope                    
of  powers of the Seimas, the President of the Republic  and                    
the Government, as well as the Court shall be defined by the                    
Constitution  itself. The statute of every said  institution                    
is  regulated in separate chapters of the Constitution,  and                    
the  main  constitutional provisions are  particularized  in                    
special  laws.  The  statute of the  Seimas  is  defined  in                    
Chapter  5  entitled  "The Seimas", and  the  structure  and                    
procedure of activities is determined in the statute of  the                    
Seimas (Article 76 of the Constitution).                                        
        The  Central  Electoral Committee is an  institution                    
formed   by  the  Seimas  (item  13,  Article  67   of   the                    
Constitution),  therefore, the Seimas  is  entitled  to  the                    
right to supervise the activity of this institution, as  far                    
as  it conforms to the provisions pertaining to the scope of                    
the  powers  of  the  State. It is primarily  based  on  the                    
provision   of  the  first  part  of  Article  61   of   the                    
Constitution,  which  establishes the right  of  the  Seimas                    
members  to  submit  inquires - as a form  of  parliamentary                    
control. Among said "State institutions formed or elected by                    
the  Seimas",  exception  is applied  only  to  the  courts,                    
because their independence is guaranteed in Articles 109 and                    
114  of  the Constitution. Such independence of the  Central                    
Electoral Committee is not set forth in the Constitution.                       
        Secondly,  certain possibilities for the  Seimas  to                    
control  are expressed in the right vested in the Seimas  to                    
change  the  composition of the Central Electoral Committee,                    
which  is  established  in item 13  of  Article  67  of  the                    
Constitution.  It should be noted, that the  prerogative  of                    
the   Seimas  to  change  the  composition  of  the  Central                    
Electoral  Committee is not defined by any criteria  in  the                    
Constitution,  however,  it  is  restricted  by  appropriate                    
provisions of the Law on Elections to the Seimas, which  has                    
been adopted by the Seimas itself.                                              
        Finally, Article 107 of the Constitution establishes                    
the right of the Seimas to adopt the final decision only  in                    
case  of the violation of laws. Such decision of the  Seimas                    
must be based on the conclusion of the Constitutional Court.                    
In  case  of  doubts  whether Laws  on  Elections  were  not                    
violated during election of the President of the Republic or                    
elections to the Seimas, under the fifth part of Article 106                    
of the Constitution, the right to request the constitutional                    
court to submit the conclusion is vested in the Seimas,  and                    
- concerning elections to the Seimas - also in the President                    
of the Republic of Lithuania.                                                   
        2. At the time when the Seimas resolution in dispute                    
was  passed, the Constitutional Court did not function  yet,                    
therefore,  the mechanizm of investigation and settling  the                    
disputes  pertaining to the violations of Laws on  Elections                    
could  not  be applied. Thus, the use was made  of  judicial                    
control,  set  forth in the Law on Election  to  the  Seimas                    
which was in effect at that time - i. e. the opportunity  to                    
lodge   complaints  considering  the  declaration   of   the                    
elections invalid with the Supreme Court of the Republic  of                    
Lithuania.                                                                      
        The  Supreme  Court by its decision established  the                    
violations  of the Law on Elections to the Seimas,  made  by                    
the Central Electoral Committee in three electoral areas and                    
nullified unlawful and groundless resolutions of the Central                    
Electoral Committee. In the motives of the court decision it                    
was  specified,  that  the Court does  not  include  in  the                    
decision  thereof  the obligation to the  Central  Electoral                    
Committee to confirm other election results, because  it  is                    
the  Law  on  Elections to the Seimas  which  obligates  the                    
Central  Electoral  Committee to  confirm  correct  election                    
results  (Articles 75-79). However, on 27 February 1993  the                    
Central Electoral Committee adopted the resolution: "On  the                    
implementation of the decisions of the Supreme Court of  the                    
Republic  of Lithuania", and stated therein that, regardless                    
of  the decisions passed by the Court, it "does not find any                    
legal  basis  for changing the 22 November 1992  resolution,                    
which  confirms the final results of elections to the Seimas                    
in  one-candidate and multi-candidate electoral  areas".  In                    
legal  power a court decision equals to the law,  therefore,                    
no one may refuse to abide by court decision.     Under such                    
circumstances,   the   Seimas   formed   the   parliamentary                    
Commission  for  the investigation of the  activity  of  the                    
Central  Electoral Committee. Conforming to the  conclusions                    
submitted  by said Commission, the Seimas on 23  March  1993                    
adopted  resolution "On the refusal of some members  of  the                    
Central Electoral Committee to abide by the Law on Elections                    
to  the Seimas, upon nullifying the unlawful resolutions  of                    
the  Central Electoral Committee by the Supreme Court of the                    
Republic of Lithuania". The refusal of the Central Electoral                    
Committee  to  implement  court decisions  and  the  Law  on                    
Elections  to  the Seimas is stated in the preamble  to  the                    
Seimas resolution in dispute. The composition of the Central                    
Electoral   Committee  was  changed  by  item  1   of   said                    
resolution, i. e. in compliance with item 13 of  Article  67                    
of the Constitution.                                                            
        The  Seimas did not nullify the resolutions  of  the                    
Central  Electoral Committee and did not adopt new decisions                    
concerning the election results instead. Under item 2 of the                    
resolution, the Central Electoral Committee was obligated to                    
fulfil  its  duty,  i.  e. to abide  by  the  Supreme  Court                    
decisions  and the Law on Elections to the Seimas. Actually,                    
said  item  2 did not have any independent and new contents,                    
as  it only repeated the obligation of the Central Electoral                    
Committee to meet the requirements prescribed by the Law  on                    
Elections  to the Seimas, which is specified in the  motives                    
of  the  Supreme Court decisions. Therefore, such obligation                    
may  not  be  regarded as groundless or unfair, because,  in                    
this  particular case, it was meant for the  elimination  of                    
violations of the law, established by the Court. Item  2  of                    
said resolution is not to be considered as the excession  of                    
the Seimas competence, because, under the norms of the third                    
part  of  Article 107 of the Constitution, the Seimas  shall                    
have  a  final  decision in case of disputes concerning  the                    
election  results.  In the case under  dispute,  the  Seimas                    
acted  in compliance with the powers determined in item  13,                    
Article 67 of the Constitution.                                                 
       The Constitutional Court maintains that said decision                    
of  the  Seimas , adopted under such circumstances when  the                    
Supreme  Court  decisions were ignored and legal  means  for                    
making  act in conformity with these decisions could not  be                    
found,  should  be considered as inevitable measure,  as  it                    
overcame the disregard of powers of judicial authority.                         
        Thus,  there is no ground for maintaining, that  the                    
Seimas resolution in dispute contradicts the Constitution of                    
the Republic of Lithuania.                                                      
        Conforming to Article 102 of the Constitution of the                    
Republic of Lithuania as well as Articles 53, 54, 55 and  56                    
of  the  Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic  of                    
Lithuania, the Constitutional Court has passed the following                    
       ruling:                                                                  
        To  recognize  that  the Seimas resolution  "On  the                    
refusal  of some members of the Central Electoral  Committee                    
to  abide  by  the  Law  on Elections to  the  Seimas,  upon                    
nullifying the unlawful resolutions of the Central Electoral                    
Committee   by  the  Supreme  Court  of  the   Republic   of                    
Lithuania",  does  not contradict the  Constitution  of  the                    
Republic of Lithuania.                                                          
        This  Constitutional Court ruling is final  and  not                    
subject to appeal.                                                              
        The  ruling is promulgated on behalf of the Republic                    
of Lithuania.                                                                   
                                                                                
                                                                                
Justices of the Constitutional Court:                                           
                                                                                
Algirdas     Gailiūnas         Kęstutis     Lapinskas                           
                                                                                
Zigmas Levickis                Vladas   Pavilonis                               
                                                                                
Pranas  Vytautas Rasimavičius  Stasys Stačiokas                                 
                                                                                
Teodora Staugaitienė           Stasys       Šedbaras                            
                                                                                
Juozas Žilys