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    LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT PAKSAS DOES NOT WANT TO "GO"

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    VILNIUS, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - The procedure of impeachment of President of Lithuania Rolandas Paksas starts today in Vilnius, the capital of this Baltic state, which is going to become a full member of the European Union on May 1 this year.

    The impeachment procedure was launched on the basis of a conclusion made by a parliamentary commission, which confirmed that the president had grossly violated the Constitution and his oath on six items. If during the voting in parliament at least one of the six charges is supported, the president will be released from office.

    Mr. Paksas denies all charges and refuses to resign. Moreover, he says that if he is released from office, he will run for early presidential elections. However, observers believe that he will not be allowed to do so, by means of making a corresponding amendment to the Constitution.

    The parliamentary commission has arrived at the conclusion that the President of Lithuania had assumed obligations to the sponsor of his election campaign, Russian businessman Yuri Borisov that "run counter to the interests of the people and the state."

    Mr. Borisov had provided a sum of 1.2 million lits (about $400,000) for Mr. Paksas' election campaign. As a reward, Mr. Paksas illegally gave Lithuanian citizenship to him, believes the commission.

    The Lithuanian president is accused of having used his status for personal purposes, bringing pressure to bear on law enforcement bodies and private companies to lobby the interests of his former business partners.

    However, the supporters of Mr. Paksas consider that the reason behind the scandal around the president is that in the past he made it clear that he was going to combat corruption among judges, eliminate smuggling and punish a few hundred officials who misappropriated land plots.

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