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12 may, Lithuania will host the first round of the presidential elections and two referenda.
None of the major candidates on a post of the President of Lithuania is not going to change policy towards Russia, that in Lithuania, after the events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine consider the aggressor. May 12, the country will host the first round of presidential elections and two referendum, reports the BBC Russian service.
The current President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite took office in 2009. At the time, she set a national record, scoring 69% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election.
At this time the elections will not be decided in one round: according to the polls, no one candidate gains more than 50% of the votes. If the voting result is the same: the two winners advance to the second round, which is scheduled for may 26.
The Lithuanian President more powers than his colleagues in Latvia and Estonia. In Lithuania, the head of state forms the foreign policy along with the government, is the commander of the army, has the right of legislative initiative and legislative veto.
If in Latvia and Estonia the President is elected by the Parliament, in Lithuania, all citizens with voting rights. A prerequisite for participation in the electoral race – 20 thousand signatures that the candidate must collect and submit to the Central election Commission.
Simultaneously with the first round of elections in Lithuania are held two referendums. One of them is about allowing dual citizenship with countries that are “eligible to be elected Lithuania’s European and transatlantic integration.”
The list of countries to be determined later. The experience of neighboring Latvia, we can assume that dual citizenship, for example, Russia will not be allowed.
According to the analyst Linas Coaly, the issue of dual citizenship had been under discussion almost since the restoration of independence and is becoming more acute with the growth in the number of Lithuanians living outside of Lithuania.
“The initiative comes from the bottom”, he said.
The second referendum on reducing the number of MPs from 141 to 121. Here, according to the analyst, was initiated by the ruling party. The idea stems from the low popularity of Institute of political parties and of Parliament.
Both questions involve modifications to the articles of the Constitution, so submitted for public discussion.
The three leaders
At the moment the election is contested by nine candidates. The three leaders, according to the polling company Spinter tyrimai, consists of Ingrida Simonyte (26,2%), Gitanas Nausea (24.6 per cent) and current Prime Minister Saulius Skordalia (16.6 per cent).
Ingrida Simonyte – economist, former Deputy President of the Bank of Lithuania and former Minister of Finance, the candidate of the center-right party “the Fatherland Union – Christian Democrats”.
The same party at the time supported the candidacy of President Dalia grybauskaitė, it is Vytautas Landsbergis, former Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania and one of the leaders Saudis – the socio-political organization, which achieved output of Lithuania from the USSR and restoration of independence.
Gitanas Nausea – also an economist, was also a member of the leadership of the Bank of Lithuania, however in recent years spent in private banks. Nausea is a non-partisan candidate.
According to the analyst Linas Coaly, independents is normal practice for Lithuania. “Gitanas Nauseda does not support any one party, he has always advocated the principles of a liberal economy, we can say that he leans to the center-right side,” – said the expert.
Saulius Squirrels , an engineer and a lawyer, most of his life he worked in the Ministry of interior, was the Minister of the interior. In the parliamentary elections in 2016, led the party, the Union green and peasants of Lithuania, which unexpectedly won the election and increased the presence in the diet, with one parliamentary seats to 54.
About Russia: it will not be worse
Whoever becomes the new President of Lithuania, it is unlikely that the rhetoric against Russia will be tougher – as tougher than in the performance of Dalia Grybauskaite, it can hardly be. “No, we are not afraid, not afraid of anyone!”, she said to Russian journalists in Brussels, answering the question about the Russian threat.
Grybauskaite has traditionally supported anti-Russian sanctions, consistently accuses Russia of aggression, regularly provoking the wrath of Russian politicians and Russian journalists from time to time I remember her words about the fact that Russia is a terrorist state.
At the beginning of his first term, Grybauskaite was trying to build a friendly dialogue with Russia, but in 2013-2014 in connection with the crisis around Ukraine and the President’s position has changed.
While Dalia grybauskaitė remains one of the most popular figures in the country. According to the survey, one of the most popular Newspapers of the country, Lietuvos rytas, Grybauskaite named person of 2018. Lithuanians trust her more than anyone in the political FM establishment, according to a survey by Baltijos tyrimai in February 2019.
From Ingrida Simonyte position on Russia is similar, but the rhetoric is a little softer. She also considers Russia a threat, but to change course against her is not going to sacrifice principles for the sake of good neighbourliness did not consider it necessary.
Simonite promises not to follow the example of the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, who recently visited in Moscow. According to simonite, pragmatists without ideology there can be serious political consequences, according to the Lithuanian edition Delfi.
In matters of relations with Russia Saulius Squirrels adheres to the principle of a common European line. That is the dialogue of Vilnius with Moscow is just a part of the EU dialogue with Russia.
Visit Kirsty Kaljulaid he is bold and does not condemn, but to follow her example does not want, and to change policy towards the neighbor. “Not yet. The ball is on the side of Russia, and if she wants to do something constructive, she needs to signal. It yet. Respectively, and to talk about,” said Skvernyalis TV channel LRT.
Gintas Nausea speaks out against Russia less straightforward than its main competitors. However, he believes the policy of aggressive neighbor. According to him, relations with Moscow can only be changed if the Russian government to abide by the Minsk agreement.
To go to Moscow he is not going, but completely interrupt communication does not want – especially when it comes to trade.
“I believe that the relations with the Russian people must be our highest priority, as these people we will live and when the term of the current Kremlin leader will end”, – quotes its publication Delfi.