Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 203

On October 27, Lithuanian Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas made good the resignation threat he had issued the preceding week (see the Monitor, October 21) on the basis of what he regarded as excessive financial obligations for Lithuania in the contract with Williams. Paksas, a highly popular conservative politician (see profile in the Monitor, May 19, June 11) had only taken over in June of this year as prime minister. He, along with the ministers for economics and finance who resigned as well, were outvoted 11 to 3 in the government’s debate regarding the terms of the Williams takeover. Under Lithuania’s constitution, the prime minister’s resignation automatically triggers that of the entire cabinet of ministers.

President Valdas Adamkus, who gave up a scheduled visit to his adoptive city of Chicago in order to deal with the crisis, nominated Andrius Kubilius as the new prime minister on October 29. Kubilius, of the governing Fatherland Union/Lithuanian Conservatives (FU/LC), is a first vice-chairman of the parliament. Born in 1957 and trained as a physicist, Kubilius was among the founding leaders of the Sajudis movement which spearheaded Lithuania’s movement for independence from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Kubilius, in agreement with Adamkus and Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, intends to retain most of the members of the current coalition government of FU/LC and the Christian-Democratic Party–a coalition enjoying a comfortable majority in parliament over the left-of-center opposition which vociferously resists the agreement with Williams (BNS, October 29-30, November 1).

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