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Lithuania: Parliament To Consider Impeaching President

Vilnius, 2 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuania's parliament is expected today to consider whether to start impeachment proceedings against President Rolandas Paksas (pictured) following a parliamentary investigation that found links between his office and mafia groups. A parliamentary investigative committee report made public on 1 December said Paksas has been, and is, vulnerable because of links to organized crime, and that this poses a danger to Lithuanian national security.

The report found that Paksas had personally leaked classified information. Paksas has vowed not to resign, saying he does not believe he has done anything wrong.

Impeachment proceedings can be launched with only 36 votes in the 141-member Seimas.

Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas has called on Paksas to resign, saying he expected a majority of the Social Democrats -- the biggest party in parliament -- would support impeachment.

Brazauskas said he agreed in general with the parliamentary committee's conclusions, but not the part saying there is a threat to Lithuanian national security.