Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 13

Internal affairs minister Romasis Vaitekunas and the leadership of Lithuania’s ruling Democratic Labor Party are defying a presidential demand for the minister’s resignation. Despite the public outcry over Vaitekunas’s conduct in the country’s banking crisis, the DLP party presidium and parliamentary faction have decided that Vaitekunas will stay in office. Prime Minister Slezevicius and the DLP parliamentary faction chairman announced that decision to the press January 17 and 18. Vaitekunas himself in a radio statement brushed aside the demand of President Algirdas Brazauskas. The president in turn vowed yesterday to "stick to his guns." In an open letter to Brazauskas yesterday, 65 parliamentary deputies, including several from the DLP, offered their support for a move to dismiss Slezevicius immediately. The measure needs 71 votes in parliament. (9) Brazauskas, DLP leader before becoming president, has until now hesitated to move against the prime minister. The latter has used his position as head of the party to ensure the parliamentary faction’s loyalty and thus stay in office.

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