Lithuanian parliament debates leftist PM candidate

BBC News Online, Tuesday 3 July 2001, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK

Parliament in Lithuania is to vote on the candidacy of the leftist party leader and ex-Communist, Algirdas Brazauskas, for prime minister.

President Valdas Adamkus presented Mr Brazauskas to parliament on Monday.

Mr Brazauskas, the last president of communist Lithuania, has the backing of two of the largest parties in parliament, his own Social Democrats and the centre-left New Union.

His nomination follows the resignation two weeks ago of the prime minister, Rolandas Paksas of the pro-business Liberal Union.

His coalition government was brought down by economic policy disputes.

Mr Brazauskas supports Lithuania's bids to join the European Union and Nato, and wants a greater focus on social protection programmes.