Impeachment proceedings set to begin in Lithuania

A group of politicians and lawyers have begun impeachment proceedings against Lithuanian President Rolandas Paksas. Rosbalt reports that the group met for the first time yesterday. According to the opinions of its members, preparing the necessary documents for the impeachment will take one week. When the documents are completed, they will be handed over to the Parliament.

Paksas is accused of violating his oath of office and the country's constitution. Moreover, he is suspected of agreeing to sell the services of high posts in the government, according to a special Parliamentary commission investigating the scandal surrounding Paksas and a number of his advisors and their connection with criminal organizations.

Paksas has strongly denied all accusations while conducting government business and in meetings with voters. Over the last ten days, Paksas has visited eight different cities in the country.

After Parliament receives the group's documents, it will then begin collecting signatures of deputies for and against impeachment. 36 signatures are required to begin the impeachment process. To impeach Paksas 85 deputies of 141 total deputies in Parliament must vote for impeachment.

Currently, four Parliamentary factions, which total 110 deputies, support impeaching Paksas. The outcome of the voting will depend a great deal, however, on the Right-wing Social Democratic party and their allies, the Social Liberals. Analysts say that the impeachment process will last at least 6 months.

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