Lithuania in the News
9th June 2019
|Gitanas Nausėda Elected as the New Lithuanian President for a Five Year Term|
President-elect Gitanas Nausėda in a conference with President Dalia Grybauskaitė.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt/ by Robertas Dačkus
In the first round of elections it came down to the three main contenders - Gitanas Nausėda, Ingrida Šimonytė, also an economist, and the current Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis. Nausėda and Šimonytė, both to the right of the political spectrum, together resoundingly defeated Skvernelis, who was endorsed by the populist Farmers and Greens party, currently the major party in a coalition government.
In the first round no candidate got an absolute majority. Šimonytė, with 31.6% of the vote, was slightly ahead of Nausėda with 31.2% and Skvernelis was a distant third with 19.7%. In second round Nausėda obtained an overwhelming majority of the vote of 67%, against Šimonytė’s 33%.
The poor showing by Skvernelis was interpreted by many as a huge vote of no-confidence in the current government. This prompted Skvernelis to consider resigning as Prime Minister, though so far he has not done so, and has put the governing coalition into disarray.