Brazauskas resigns amid governmental collapse
Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas tendered his resignation today, after President Valdas Adamkus expressed no confidence in two Labor Party ministers, triggering the beginning of a governmental collapse.
The PM handed his resignation letter in to Adamkus this morning, and will next sign a decree asking the current ministers to continue their work until replaced. Finance Minister Zigmantas Balcytis, acting as caretaker minister of social security and labor, will most likely take over for Brazauskas until a new prime minister is found.
Brazauskas said he did not plan to stay in politics and was looking forward to becoming "an ordinary pensioner."
"I tried to be a pensioner for several years, and I think I was successful. I hope for success this time, as well," Brazauskas told journalists after handing in his resignation. The former PM is 73 years old.
After completing a five-year presidential tenure in 1998, Brazauskas left the political arena, only to return three years later as leader of the Social Democratic Party. Within six months, he was prime minister.
According to Brazauskas, said he "always had something to do in life."
"When I was retired for two years I wrote a book, which has not been published yet because I didn't have time to finish it. Now I will finally have it published," said Brazauskas. He also pledged to finish "household work" he had been neglecting.
"I have no estates, but the property I own needs to be put in good order," the retiring PM said, noting that he likes physical work. Brazauskas pledged to live "in a way that other people live."
Under the Constitution, the president must propose a candidate for the post of prime minister to Parliament within 15 days of the government's resignation. The president then has an additional 15 days to present Parliament with his approval in government. The government receives its powers after Parliament approves a governmental program and the new Cabinet members are sworn in.
Brazauskas headed the 13th Cabinet for about 18 months and was the leader of the 12th government between July 2001 and December 2004. He has held the post of prime minister for longer than any official before him.