By Angele Kedaitiene
On 26 May this year, Lithuania will hold two important elections – it will elects new President of the Republic, with first tour on 12 May, second tour on 26 May, coinciding with the European elections .
The recent President Dalia Grybauskaite after 10 years in service is about to step down, due to Lithuanian Constitution limits Presidential term to two elections of 10 years in total.
While political parties yet discuss the candidates for the European Parliament, the Presidential campaign is under way for quite a time, with new candidates coming, some dropping, etc.
The President of the Republic is elected for five years. The regular elections of the President of the Republic are held on the last Sunday two months before the end of the term of office of the President of the Republic. Elections are held by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.
The top recent candidates for the Presidential post and theirs ratings (approval rate/intended to vote for) are:
|Candidate||May 2018||September 2018||October 2018||November 2018||February 2019|
Gintaras Nauseda, the recent leader of the opinion pools, is well-known and respected professional in Lithuania, the chief economist of SEB bank in Vilnius. He does not affiliate to any political party, however is known for his good relations across the political lines. He has been active supporter of the earlier Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus.
Nauseda has graduated economics at Vilnius University; from 1990 to 1992, he did a practice at the University of Mannheim in Germany under the DAAD scholarship. He defended his PhD thesis “Income Policy under Inflation and Stagflation” in 1993.
In addition to his work at the bank, he also lectures at Vilnius University Business School. Gintaras Nauseda is married with two daughters; he speaks Lithuanian, English, German and Russian.
Saulius Skvernelis is a Lithuanian politician who has been Prime Minister of Lithuania since 2016, for the ruling Peasantries and Greens Union, although he is not member of this party.
Previously he has served as police commissioner, and he was Minister of the Interior from 2014 to 2016. Saulius Skvernelis has graduated from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, he is married with children, speaks Lithuanian, English, Polish and Russian.
The Lithuanian conservative’s party – Homeland Union, has nominated Ingrida Simonyte for the Presidential elections. She is economist, former Minister of Finance, recent member of Lithuanian parliament – Seimas. She also lectures economics at Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and public finance at ISM University of Management and Economics. Inga Simonye is single; she speaks Lithuanian, English, Polish, Swedish and Russian.
Vytenis Andriukaitis is Lithuanian social democrat. He is recent EU Commissioner, responsible for the health and food safety. He has been born in Siberia, due to his family deportation by the Soviets in June 1941. Vytenis Andriukaitis is medical surgeon by profession, he has graduated from Lithuanian university of health sciences, he is married with three children, he speaks Lithuanian, English, Polish and Russian.
Considering recent opinion polls, Andriukaitis has little chances to be elected even to the second tour, although he has just recently started his campaign, thus, chances to increase.
Most likely, it will be the second tour of the elections, to compete of two great economists and good colleagues, to be elected as the new President of Lithuania. Will woman win? Yet hard to tell, the best will win.