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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Lithuania parliament backs new PM
Lithuania's parliament has approved Gediminas Kirkilas as the new prime minister, ending weeks of political deadlock in the Baltic country.

Mr Kirkilas' nomination by President Valdas Adamkus was backed in an 85-13 vote. Five lawmakers abstained.

Mr Kirkilas was defence minister in the government that collapsed in May over a corruption row involving two ministers.

Mr Kirkilas, a Social Democrat, now has 15 days to form a cabinet, which then has to be approved by the president.

His confirmation follows the rejection by parliament last week of fellow Social Democrat Zigmantas Balcytis as prime minister.

Mr Kirkilas, 54, has said any government under his leadership will maintain close ties to the European Union and aim to join the eurozone as soon as possible.

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