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Lithuania: Brazauskas Approved As Premier

Vilnius, 3 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The Lithuanian parliament today approved Algirdas Brazauskas as prime minister, with 60 percent of deputies voting in favor. Brazauskas was the last Communist Party leader in Lithuania. He served as president of the country from 1993-1998. Brazauskas's predecessor, Rolandas Paksas, resigned two weeks ago after his center-right coalition collapsed. President Valdas Adamkus named Brazauskas on 29 June.

Brazauskas now has two weeks to present a cabinet and program for parliament's approval. He will head a center-left coalition composed of the Social Democrat Party that he chairs, the Social Liberal Union, and a faction of independent lawmakers.

Brazauskas has pledged to continue with the former government's policies of seeking integration into the EU and NATO. He has said he also will seek to bring greater social justice to Lithuania.