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Lithuania: Parliament Approves Report, To Begin Impeachment Proceeding


Vilnius, 2 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuania's parliament today approved a report linking President Rolandas Paksas to organized crime. The report, prepared by a parliamentary ad hoc commission, also said that Paksas is a threat to national security. Deputies moved to open impeachment proceedings, creating a group to gather the necessary amount of signatures among deputies to start impeachment proceedings. Only 36 signatures from the 141-seat parliament are needed formally to start impeachment proceedings, but 85 votes are needed to oust the president.

Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said it will not be difficult to get the needed votes if Paksas refused to admit defeat.

But Paksas refuses to leave office. He said in a statement broadcast on national television and radio that the goal of his accusers was to break him morally and destroy him politically.

"I think that by incriminating me with nonexistent offenses without proof, by the way the investigation has been conducted and by the conclusions of the investigation, the temporary parliamentary commission confirmed that the only goal that has been pursued is to remove me by all means," Paksas said.
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