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Lithuania: Lawmakers Can Begin President's Impeachment

Vilnius, 11 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Lithuanian lawmakers today said they have collected enough signatures to launch impeachment proceedings against President Rolandas Paksas (pictured). Eligijus Masiulis of the opposition Liberal Center party said 36 signatures have been collected and lawmakers are continuing to collect more.

Lithuanian law requires the support of at least 36 lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings in the 141-seat parliament. A miniumum of 85 votes are necessary to remove the president from office.

Paksas is accused of having links with Russian criminal groups, which he denies.