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Lithuania's late MP Zilinskas was special figure in politics

VILNIUS – Active performance and openness made MP Rokas Zilinskas a special example on Lithuania's political arena.

"It is an enormous tragedy for the family – my condolences, first of all, go to the family and relatives, as well as those who worked together. Speaking about the individual, my first impression was that he was a person of culture, always speaking clearly, a master of the word, consistent and courageous," the parliamentary speaker told BNS.

He applauded Zilinskas' openness in his stance about homosexuality, as well as the lengths he walked to overcome alcohol addiction.

"You all know his confessions to the society, the first and the second one, we owe him respect for being an example and probably the first example in politics who went public with the truth. Regardless of him being in opposition, he was always engaged in consistent work," Pranckietis added.

In a public message of condolences, he emphasized that Zilinskas would be remembered as an unusually talented and dedicated journalist, also an active MP with multiple interests.

Lithuania's conservative MP Rokas Zilinskas passed away in the Vilnius University's Santaros Clinic after a complicated disease, Gabrielius Landsbergis, the head of the conservative Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats, confirmed to BNS.

Born in July of 1972, he graduated from then 27th secondary school in Vilnius in 1990 and later studied journalism at the Vilnius University's for six years.

He also studied at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the European Center of Journalism.

In 1991-1992, Zilinskas worked as a foreign news editor at Vilniaus Laikrastis, worked on the national television in 1992-1998 and was the news anchor and foreign news editor on LNK television in 1998-2008.

He was first elected to the parliament in 2008 as the candidate of then National Resurrection Party of Arunas Valinskas and joined the political group of the conservatives in 2011.

Zilinskas also won mandates in 2012 and 2016.

Zilinskas is also the first parliamentarian to openly come out as gay. In 2010, he took part in the first LGBT parade in Vilnius.

Zilinskas, a member of the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, passed away after a complicated disease in hospital on Tuesday at the age of 44.

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