The discussions about the need to reestablish the State President’s Institution started immediately after the restoration of Independence on March 11, 1990. The Institution was reestablished and validated by the Constitution of October 25, 1992, which received the general public’s consent in Referendum, held together with the elections to the Seimas. According to the Constitution, a Parliamentary Republic (with certain patterns of Presidential Republic) was consolidated. The Constitution says that the State’s government is carried out by Seimas, President, Government and Judicial Courts. Their powers are clearly defined by Constitution and all these institutions are to serve the People.
The Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party won the first elections to Seimas; its leader Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas was elected the Chairman of Seimas and, pursuant to the Constitution, acted as President of the Republic. The first presidential elections in restored Lithuania were held on February 14, 1993. The elective procedure was fundamentally different from the procedure in the First Republic of Lithuania: the President was elected by the general public, not by Seimas as earlier.
Three presidents took the presidential oath of office in the restored Republic of Lithuania up to 2009: Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, Valdas Adamkus and Rolandas Paksas. The latter was accused of breach of oath and removed from the office after impeachment. After impeachment, the Chairman of the Seimas Artūras Paulauskas became the acting President of the State until the new elections, when Valdas Adamkus was elected and served the second term. On July 12, 2009 a newly elected President Dalia Grybauskaitė took the oath of office.
According to the Constitution, the President is elected by the general public on a universal, equal and direct suffrage basis in a secret vote for a five year term of office. The eligible candidate must be a citizen of Lithuania, who has been living in this country for at least the last three years; one must be uncommitted to any other country by oath or pledge, over 40 years old, not certifiable or sentenced to imprisonment.
The President’s term of office starts with the oath of office, which is pronounced to the People during the sitting of the Seimas:
‘I, (full name), swear to the People to be faithful to the Republic of Lithuania and its Constitution, to respect and implement the laws, and to protect the integrity of the territories of Lithuania; swear to conscientiously execute the Office of President of the Republic and to be equally just to each individual; swear to strengthen, to the best of my ability, the independence of Lithuania, and to serve the Homeland, democracy and the well-being of the people of Lithuania. So help me God!’