Constituent Assembly (Seimas) 1920 - 1922
Elected on 14-15 April 1920, in accordance with the procedure established by the Law on Elections of 1919
Convened on 15 May 1920 in Kaunas, provisional capital of the Lithuanian State
Gabrielė PETKEVIČAITĖ chaired the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas)
149 representatives of the nation were elected
Aleksandras STULGINSKIS was elected Chairman of the Constituent Assembly (Seimas)
The Constituent Assembly (Seimas) which was elected on 14-15 April 1920 and convened on 15 May 1920, had, in fact, "to turn over a new leaf in history." The Constituent Assembly (Seimas) of 1920-1922 was rather young by its composition: twenty nine members were under thirty, and only eight of them were over 50. Christian Democrats had a majority - 59 seats, the Lithuanian Union of National Peasants had 28 seats and Social Democrats - 12 seats. Representatives of different ethnic minorities - Belarussians, Russians, Jews - had another 11 seats. It is worth mentioning that from the very start both men and women had the right to vote in Lithuania.
The Constituent Assembly (Seimas): the Act of Independence "Concerning the Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania" which said that "The Constituent Assembly (Seimas), expressing the will of the People of Lithuania, hereby proclaims, that the independent State of Lithuania is re-established as democratic republic within its ethnologic borders, and free from any official obligations that had ever been undertaken in respect with other states ";
on August 1, 1922, adopted the new fundamental law - The Constitution of Lithuania - which declared the legal status of the Seimas (parliament) as expressing the sovereign power of Lithuania, and assumed rights to pass legislation, approve the State Budget, supervise legislative administration, ratify international treaties, select Cabinet of Ministers and even elect the President of the Republic;
on April 3, 1922, resolved another important issue - passed Law on Land Reform which paved the way to a more just and rational system of land management.
in 1922 introduced the strong foundations based national currency Litas- that helped to reduce Lithuanias post-war inflation which had been caused by the countrys use of the rapidly declining German mark.
The Constituent Assembly (Seimas) passed approximately 150 laws, strenghtened the state's administrative system, and laid foundations of economic, social and cultural life of Lithuania. With the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) at the helm of the State, Lithuanias independence was recognised de jure by many countries of the world; moreover, it was admitted into the United Nations; and the function of legislation was systematised.
From October 1920 till February 1921, the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) was adjourned because of the Polish invasion which required the service of many representatives at the front. Prior to adjourning it had created the so called Small Seimas consisting of the Chairman and six members of the regular Constituent Assembly (Seimas) who were authorised to pass urgent laws and to resolve other crucial issues. The Constituent Assembly (Seimas) finished its work on October 6, 1922.