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President of the Republic of Lithuania
Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentas
Incumbent
Gitanas Nausėda
since 12 July 2019
StyleMr. President
(informal)
Commander-in-chief
(military)
His Excellency
(diplomatic)
TypeExecutive president
Head of state
Member ofEuropean Council
ResidencePresidential Palace, Vilnius
AppointerDirect election
Term lengthFive years, renewable once consecutively
Inaugural holderAntanas Smetona
Formation4 April 1919; 105 years ago (1919-04-04)
Abolished1940–1990
DeputySpeaker of the Seimas
Salary€119,460[1] (annual, brutto)
Websitewww.lrp.lt

The president of the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentas) is the head of state of the Republic of Lithuania. The president directs and appoints the executive branch of the Government of Lithuania, represents the nation internationally and is the commander-in-chief of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The president is directly elected by the citizens of Lithuania for a five-year term, with the office holder limited to serving two terms consecutively. The current president is Gitanas Nausėda who assumed office on July 12, 2019.

Eligibility

To be eligible for election, candidates must be at least 40 years old on the election day and reside in Lithuania for at least three years, in addition to satisfying the eligibility criteria for a member of the parliament. A person who has been removed from office through impeachment for breach of constitution or an oath of office may not be elected as a president.[2]

Powers

The Lithuanian president has somewhat more executive authority than their counterparts in neighboring Estonia and Latvia; the Lithuanian president's function is very similar to that of the presidents of France and Romania. Similarly to them, but unlike presidents in a fully presidential system such as the United States, the Lithuanian president generally has the most authority in foreign affairs. In addition to the customary diplomatic powers of Heads of State, namely receiving the letters of credence of foreign ambassadors and signing treaties, the president determines Lithuania's basic foreign policy guidelines. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, and accordingly heads the State Defense Council and has the right to appoint the Chief of Defence (subject to Seimas consent).[3]

The president also has a significant role in domestic policy, possessing the right to submit bills to the Seimas and to veto laws passed by it, appointing the prime minister and approving the government formed by them, and also having the right to dissolve the Seimas and call snap elections following a successful motion of no confidence or if the Seimas refuses to approve the government's budget within sixty days. However, the next elected Seimas may retaliate by calling for an earlier presidential election.[4]

Finally, the president ensures an effective judiciary, being responsible for nominating one third of the judges of the Constitutional Court, and the entirety of the Supreme Court, for appointment by the Seimas; the president also has the right to directly appoint all other judges.

Election

Under the Constitution of Lithuania adopted in 1992, the president is elected to a five-year term under a modified two-round system: a candidate requires an absolute majority of the vote and either voter turnout to be above 50% or for their vote share to be equivalent to at least one-third of the number of registered voters to win the election in the first round.[5] If no candidate does so, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a second round held two weeks later. Upon taking office, the president must suspend any formal membership in a political party.[4]

If the president dies or becomes incapacitated while in office, the Speaker of the Seimas assumes the office until a new president can be inaugurated following fresh elections.

List of presidents

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Took office Left office Affiliation/notes
President of the Republic of Lithuania
1 Antanas Smetona
(1874–1944)
1919 4 April 1919 19 June 1920 First president of the Republic of Lithuania.
Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Aleksandras Stulginskis served as acting president from 19 June 1920 to 21 December 1922.
2 Aleksandras Stulginskis
(1885–1969)
1922 21 December 1922 7 June 1926
3 Kazys Grinius
(1866–1950)
1926 7 June 1926 18 December 1926 Last democratically elected president of the Republic of Lithuania during the interwar period.
Following the 1926 Lithuanian coup d'état, Jonas Staugaitis and Aleksandras Stulginskis served as acting presidents from 18 December 1926 to 19 December 1926.
(1) Antanas Smetona
(1874–1944)
1926 19 December 1926 15 June 1940 Undemocratically elected authoritarian leader serving as head of state until Lithuania's occupation by the Soviet Union in 1940.
Following the Soviet occupation but before its incorporation into the Soviet Union as the Lithuanian SSR, Prime Minister Antanas Merkys served as acting president until Justas Paleckis was installed by the Soviets three days later.
Position abolished under the Lithuanian SSR during the Soviet occupation of 1940–1990
General Jonas Žemaitis was posthomously recognised as acting president from 16 February 1949 to 26 November 1954.
Colonel Adolfas Ramanauskas was posthomously recognised as acting president from 26 November 1954 to 29 November 1957.
Following the re-establishment of independence in 1990, position remained abolished under the Provisional Basic Law until re-established by the Constitution of Lithuania in 1992.
Speaker of the Seimas Algirdas Brazauskas served as acting president from 25 November 1992 to 25 February 1993.
4 Algirdas Brazauskas
(1932–2010)
1993 25 February 1993 25 February 1998 First directly elected president of the Republic of Lithuania.
5 Valdas Adamkus
(born 1926)
1997–98 26 February 1998 26 February 2003
6 Rolandas Paksas
(born 1956)
2002–03 26 February 2003 6 April 2004 Impeached and removed from office.
Speaker of the Seimas Artūras Paulauskas served as acting president from 6 April to 12 July 2004.
(5) Valdas Adamkus
(born 1926)
2004 12 July 2004 12 July 2009
7 Dalia Grybauskaitė
(born 1956)
2009
2014
12 July 2009 12 July 2019 First female president of Lithuania. Became the first president to be reelected.
8 Gitanas Nausėda
(born 1964)
2019
2024
12 July 2019 Incumbent

See also

References

  1. ^ "INFORMACIJA APIE DARBO UŽMOKESTĮ Valstybės tarnautojų ir darbuotojų, dirbančių pagal darbo sutartis, vidutinis nustatytasis (paskirtasis) darbo užmokestis" (PDF). lrp.lt.
  2. ^ "Law on Presidential Elections". The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. 14 May 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  3. ^ Presidential Functions | President of the Republic of Lithuania
  4. ^ a b Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania - Seimas site
  5. ^ Lithuania: Election for President IFES