Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 23

Dismissed from his post January 29 by President Algirdas Brazauskas, Lithuanian prime minister Adolfas Slezevicius has again announced that he will not leave his post voluntarily. Slezevicius said earlier this week that he expected the parliamentary majority to overrule the president’s decree in a debate scheduled for February 8 and thus keep him in office. He warned the president and opposition deputies that they would bear responsibility for the consequences to the Lithuanian state of his dismissal. As he has throughout the crisis provoked by his behavior in the country’s banking scandal, Slezevicius continued to equate political stability with his staying in office and to place his links with the Democratic Labor Party leadership above his adherence to constitutional procedures.

Former President Vytautas Landsbergis has encouraged Brazauskas, his one-time rival and former DLP chairman, to show firmness in defending the state against the usurpation of power by the current DLP leadership and Slezevicius. The Conservative, Christian Democrat, and Social Democrat parties have all thrown their support behind the president, whom they had previously long opposed. Business circles are also rallying against the government because of its handling of the banking crisis. The recently founded Economic party (known as "the managers’ party") and the American Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania have issued statements criticizing the government for failing to address the damage done to the business community by the banking crisis, the country’s growing indebtedness, and the deterioration of the investment climate. (18)