The Government and Political System in Lithuania
Lithuania is a multi-party, parliamentary democracy. Its law enforcing body, Executive Branch is the President, Prime Minister and the cabinet. President, elected by popular vote, is the chief of state and mostly oversees national security and foreign policy. The president is elected into 5 years, and cans serve a maximum of two terms.
The Prime Minister, with the approval of the parliamentary body or Seimas, is appointed by the president. The cabinet, as well as other top civil servants, are nominated by the Seimas and are also appointed by the President.
The Legislative branch, the Seimas, is the country’s law making body. It is a unicameral parliament with 141 members elected in a 4-year term. Seventy-one of its members are elected in single constituencies; the other half are elected in a nationwide vote by party lists. A party needs at least 5% of the national vote to be represented in the Seimas.
The Judicial Branch is composed of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Court of appeal. Judges of all courts are appointed by the President.
The country is divided into ten counties that are further divided into sixty municipalities. Each county is ruled by a county governor appointed by the central government. County governments oversee implementation of national laws; and county governors make certain that each county adhere to Lithuanian law, as well as the Lithuanian constitution.
The counties are further subdivided into 60 municipalities. Elections for municipality councils take place every four years. The council elects the mayor and appoints elders. Elderships are most active in the social sector, giving public service close to their homes. They do not, however, play a role in national politics.