Rolandas Paksas

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paksas in the 2009 Lithuanian presidential election

Listen to Rolandas Paksas ? / i (born June 10, 1956 in Telšiai ) is a Lithuanian politician. From 2009 to 2019, the former President of the Republic of Lithuania (2003-2004) was a member of the European Parliament ; twice he was briefly prime minister of the country and before each mayor of Vilnius . Audio file / audio sample


Professional career

After graduating from secondary school in Telšiai in 1974, Paksas graduated in 1979 with a degree in civil engineering with a specialization in industrial and residential construction at the Institute of Civil Engineering in Vilnius . He then worked as a flight instructor until 1985. In 1984 he graduated as a pilot engineer from the Academy for Civil Aviation in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). From 1985 to 1992 he was chairman of the Aviation Club “ Darius and Girėnas ” in Vilnius. During this time he was a member of the Soviet and later the Lithuanian aerobatic team and won several international competitions.

After Lithuania's independence and the transition to a market economy , Paksas became director of the UAB “Restako” construction company in Vilnius.

Political career

Paksas' political career began in 1997 when he was elected to the Vilnius City Council for the Conservative Fatherland League (Tėvynės Sąjunga) and was promptly elected mayor of the Lithuanian capital. Just two years later he was so popular that he was elected Prime Minister of Lithuania to succeed Gediminas Vagnorius . After only five months in office, however, he announced his resignation because of the controversial privatization of the “Mažeikių Nafta” oil refinery. He subsequently left the Fatherland League and joined the Liberal Union (LLS). Due to its immense popularity, the Liberal Union won 18 of the 51 seats in the local elections in Vilnius in March 2000, and Paksas was re-elected mayor of Vilnius in April by a coalition of the LLS, the Fatherland League and the Polish Electoral Action . In the following parliamentary elections in October 2000 , the LLS under Paksas' leadership with 34 seats became the largest group in the Lithuanian parliament , the Seimas . Paksas was then re-elected Prime Minister by a coalition of LLS, social liberals and smaller parties. His second term was also short-lived; in the dispute over economic policy, the social liberals terminated the coalition in June 2001, and the social democrat Algirdas Brazauskas became the new prime minister.

In early 2002 Paksas fell out with his new party, the Liberal Union (especially with his successor as Mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas ), and together with followers he founded the Liberal Democratic Party in March 2002 . With this completely focused party behind him, he surprisingly got into the runoff election for the office of President of Lithuania on December 22, 2002 . Even more surprising was his victory in the runoff election on January 5, 2003 against incumbent President Valdas Adamkus . In the election campaign against the then 76-year-old incumbent, Paksas successfully portrayed himself as a young, unspent candidate for change and awakening and as an advocate for the common people; this enabled him to score particularly well in rural regions. With a total of 54% of the votes, he won all constituencies except for the constituencies of Vilnius City, Kaunas City, Kaunas Country, Palanga and Birštonas.

From March 2002 until his election as President of Lithuania in January 2003 and again since October 2004, he has been chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Lithuania, which he founded. At the party congress on February 8, 2009, he was confirmed by a clear majority in his office as chairman of the party, which has since been renamed Tvarka ir teisingumas (576 of 590 votes, no vote against). In the elections to the European Parliament in June 2009 , Paksas ran for first place on the list and moved into the European Parliament as one of two elected members of his party.


Shortly after taking office as President in March 2003, misconduct and embarrassment of the new President were discussed in the press. The controversial granting of Lithuanian citizenship to his main campaign sponsor, Yuri Borisov, shortly after he took office was brought up again in November 2003 when a report by the VSD security service brought the president and his staff close to dubious Russian businessmen.

After extensive parliamentary investigations, the Lithuanian parliament launched impeachment proceedings in March 2004 for a serious violation of the constitution and breach of the oath of office. He was accused of illegitimate granting citizenship to Borissov, the unlawful disclosure of state secrets (when he warned Borissov against an intelligence investigation against him) and the influence of his advisors on stock deals of two road construction companies in favor of persons close to him.

After the allegations had been confirmed by the Constitutional Court of Lithuania as a serious violation of the constitution, a vote was taken in parliament on April 6, 2004, in which a close 3/5 majority (= required quorum) voted in favor of his removal from office . In the end, Paksas' hasty decision on March 23 to appoint the highly controversial Borisov as his advisor on public affairs weighed heavier politically than the complicated legal arguments, a decision he made within 24 hours under the impression of the enormous public echo took back and described himself as a "mistake".

Paksas himself described the allegations as a conspiracy to the end and accused his opponents of an attempted "coup". He announced that he would run for office again in the new election of the President, due after his impeachment. The country's supreme election committee declared this candidacy to be admissible in April 2004; however, the Constitutional Court ruled on May 25, 2004 that Paksas would no longer be allowed to hold high public offices, which meant that he was excluded from the presidential election.

Legal consequences

On December 13, 2005, the Supreme Court of Lithuania acquitted Rolandas Paksas of the criminally relevant issue of the disclosure of state secrets. His misconduct was thus seen solely in the violation of his official duties, i. H. at the political level. However, this means that he remains excluded from all public offices that require the oath of office for life.

Paksas, however, has lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights , arguing that the Lithuanian Constitutional Court or the Parliament had based his impeachment on a criminal charge for which the criminal courts alone had jurisdiction and from which he was acquitted. The complaint was sent to the Republic of Lithuania for comments. The Court heard the case in the Grand Chamber on April 28, 2010.

In its judgment pronounced on January 6, 2011, the European Court of Human Rights found that the judgment of the Lithuanian Constitutional Court of May 25, 2004 and an amendment based on it, which banned Paksas from any elected office for life, violated the Convention on Human Rights. It is true that the allegations were not criminal within the meaning of Article 6 (1) of the ECHR. However, particularly the permanent loss of whether eligibility for election to the Seimas with the right to free elections (Article 3 of the Protocol to the ECHR) is not compatible. The Court of Justice had no objection to the previous rule, which in such a case deprived the right to stand for five years.


Paksas was an only child. He is married to Laima Paksienė (* 1961) and has the daughter Inga Stumbrienė (* 1983), a graduate of the master's degree in law at the Mykolo Riomerio universitetas , and the son Mindaugas, a graduate of the ISM Vadybos ir ekonomikos universitetas .


  • Egidijus Šileikis: The prosecution against the President of Lithuania Rolandas Paksas , in: WGO: Monthly Bulletins for Eastern European Law, Vol. 46 (2004), No. 4, pp. [266] –278.

Web links

Commons : Rolandas Paksas  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. New coalition after local elections in Vilnius, report from, April 3, 2000 (English)
  2. Results of the runoff election for the Lithuanian presidency on January 5, 2003 ( Memento from April 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  3. ^ Re-election of Paksas as chairman of the "Tvarka ir Teisingumas", message on (lit.), February 8, 2009
  4. ^ MEPs from Lithuania in the European Parliament 2009-2014
  5. ^ Judgment of January 6, 2011 - Paksas ./. Lithuania, No. 34932/04 .
  6. Gimtadienį švenčianti Laima Paksienė pasidalijo patirtimi, kaip surasti laimę ir ramybę ,, March 20, 2017, accessed on April 13, 2017 (Lithuanian).
  7. Inga Stumbrienė ,, October 5, 2015, accessed on April 13, 2017 (Lithuanian).
predecessor Office successor

Gediminas Vagnorius
Andrius Kubilius
Prime Minister of Lithuania
May 18, 1999-27. October 1999
October 27, 2000–20. June 2001

Andrius Kubilius
Eugenijus Gentvilas

Alis Vidūnas
Juozas Imbrasas
Mayor of Vilnius
April 1997 – June 1999
April 2000 – November 2000

Juozas Imbrasas
Artūras Zuokas