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Lithuanians put up with ‘boring’ elections

Saulius Skvernelis (standing) and Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the Peasantries and Greens Union.

By Angele Kedatiene

On Monday, 20 of May, Lithuanians start voting by post in the second round of the Presidential elections and for European Parliament elections. The major voting is foreseen for Sunday 26 May, for both elections.

Recently, National Library of Lithuania, has hosted discussion of political scientists, analysing the results of the first round of the elections, with participation of Virginijus Valentinavičius from Mykolas Romeris university, Matas Baltrukevicius from National Library and Andrius Suminas from Vilnius University.

The panelists agreed that the second round of the Presidential elections would be much more intelligent and calm, even boring. Both, Gitanas Nauseda and Ingrida Simonyte would not aim at brutal attacks on each other and would express theirs difference in subtle ways. According to them, the participation of Saulius Skvernelis would have made the second round more interesting.

Matas Baltrukevicius has emphasised the necessity to engage with the electorate of Skvernelis, since many voters in the first round have possibly voted for Nauseda and Simonyte just to vote against Skvernelis, and they could not show up for the second round.

Andrius Suminas has been even more direct, asking does Lithuania knows who really won the elections. “People got to sleep while thinking of Nauseda, in the morning they woke up with news on Simonyte, but the evening impressions are stronger”, he said he while pointing to the possible victory of Nauseda. According to him, there are style differences, Nauseda is more subtle and diplomatic, while Simonyte is direct and says what she really thinks.

The discussion has concluded once again the importance to vote and achieve a decent turnout, because nobody can tell exactly how much electorate is for Simonyte, and how much for Nauseda. For both of them it will be hard to attract the voters of Skvernelis. In general, the election campaigns of all candidates, this is valid also for the European Parliament elections, have bene pretty boring and “intelligent”.

Other news are that Prime Minster Skvernelis, after meeting the ruling Peasantries and Greens Union, could possibly not resign and stay on. Last week Council of the party has confirmed the readiness to work further in the Government and has passed the motion of confidence for Skvernelis and asked him to stay as the Prime Minister. According to the Chairman of the Union, Ramunas Karbauskis, statistics show that people’s support has not decreased during two and half years in power. In national parliament elections of 2016, around 274,000 voters have voted in favour of the Union, recently around 278,000 have voted for Skvernelis in the Presidential elections, the plan having been to attract 280,000 voters, what proved to be over-ambitious.

Recently, Skvernelis has invited the moderator of the Eurovision song contest 2019, Bar Refaeli, who has Lithuanian roots, to visit the country. Refaeli announced on Twitter she has Lithuanian ancestors and called it “the good side of her”.

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