VILNIUS - After four-hours of crunch talks with Algirdas Brazauskas, President Valdas Adamkus on Tuesday signed a decree on the appointment of a new government - the country's 13th since independence - after convincing the prime minister to drop two controversial ministerial appointees.
Going into the meeting with Brazauskas, Adamkus had insisted that the two candidates - the Labor Party's Viktoras Muntianas (interior minister) and Social Democrat Rimantas Vaitkus (science and education minister) - be stricken from the list, but Brazauskas had been hoping to convince the president otherwise.
As a result, Labor's Gintaras Furmanavicius will get the post of interior minister and Social Democrat Juozas Antanavicius, rector at the Academy of Music, will become science and education minister.
Both the president and the prime minister said after the meeting it was the best decision acceptable to both parties.
Political scientist Lauras Bielinis described the president's position not to approve the candidates as a "victory of good sense." The president "uses his powers at the maximum," he said.
Opposition Homeland Union faction elder Andrius Kubilius also hailed the president's position, saying that the president "acted in a principled way."
The presidential decree comes into effect immediately after it is signed.
The talks between the president and the prime minister were also attended by Labor Party's leader Viktor Uspaskich, who got the post of economy minister.
After the meeting, he said that Muntianas would get the post of deputy parliamentary speaker instead of the ministerial portfolio.
A program of the new government will be presented at the parliament on Thursday. The prime minister hopes the parliament will vote on the governmental program next Tuesday.