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  Lawmakers Remove Lithuanian President
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ContributorGerald Farinas 
Last EditedGerald Farinas  Apr 06, 2004 03:42pm
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MediaNews Service - Associated Press
News DateTuesday, April 6, 2004 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionLawmakers Remove Lithuanian President
The Honolulu Advertiser

Lawmakers narrowly ousted Lithuania's scandal-ridden president Tuesday for abuse of office, ending the Baltic state's worst political crisis since it gained independence from Moscow. The ouster of President Rolandas Paksas in a secret ballot came less than three weeks before the country joins the European Union on May 1.

Before they voted, Paksas asked lawmakers: "Do a few mistakes of mine justify the process of impeachment?" Parliament wasn't swayed, passing all three accusations against Paksas: that he illegally arranged citizenship for one of his chief financial backers, businessman Yuri Borisov; that he divulged state secrets; and that he used his office for financial gain. The accusations stemmed from Borisov's role in Paksas' campaign, including, government reports found, that the Russian was linked to organized crime.
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