bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 05.12.2019 | Name days: Sabīne, Sarma, Klaudijs
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuania: Nausėda and Šimonytė set to square off in Sunday’s runoff election

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Lithuanian presidential candidates Ingrida Šimonytė un Gitanas Nausėda

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

The nail-biter presidential election will produce late Sunday a new host of the presidential palace in Vilnius’ Daukantas square for next five years, but which of two candidates will be there, now only God knows.

Will money talk in Šimonytė‘s case?

 If money really talks, then Ingrida Šimonytė, the presidential hopeful of the conservative Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD), should prevail – she possessed a significantly larger budget for the runoff after HU-LCD allocated her 300,000 euros last week. Figures from the Central Electoral Commission show Nausėda has raised over 196,000 euros and Šimonytė has more than 533,000 euros in her campaign account.  As a result, she is more visible on the TV and in the newspapers, but her rival, Nausėda, an independent candidate, has secured support of the ruling Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU). Thirdly, many experts say he is the one who acts more presidential and is more convincing.

Accusations over political campaign funding

The presidential campaign picked up steam this week with both candidates exchanging accusations over the political campaign funding. Paulius Lukauskas, head of the staff of Šimonytė, hinted without substantiating his suspicions that Nausėda might have spent around 50 percent more money than he had officially raised and lodged a complaint to the Central Electoral Commission, the watchdog of Lithuanian elections. Nausėda’s staff lashed out back, accusing Šimonytė’s team of «disseminating unfounded suspicions, a common strategy in Lithuania’s political life».

Nausėda secured support of several parties, including LFGU

Meantime in securing of political support ahead of the runoff election, Nausėda did much better than Šimonytė. After grilling Nausėda on a range of questions, the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union called on its party members and all citizens this week to vote for independent economist Gitanas Nausėda in Sunday’s elections.  «We are urging (citizens) to vote for Gitanas Nauseda. If turnout is low and people spoil ballots or don’t vote for either candidate, Ingrida Šimonytė will win, which, in our opinion, would be very bad for Lithuania,» Ramūnas Karbauskis said after a meeting of the party’s board.  Interestingly, before the first round of voting two weeks ago Karbauskis called Nausėda conservatives’ candidate, too.

Social Democrats will vote free

The Social Democrats, enjoying a cushy 10 percent support in the ratings, did not express their support to Nausėda after meeting him earlier this week. «The party does not change its position. We are people who keep their word and we stick to the decision me made. The party’s board made the decision last Friday not to support any candidate but party members are not banned from supporting or agitating for one or the other candidate,» Gintautas Paluckas, the SDPL leader, told journalists after the meeting. In his words, the meeting took place at Nausėda’s initiative.

APL-CFA stands for Nausėda

Valdemar Tomaševski, leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (APL-CFA) said on Thursday he voted for the independent economist Gitanas Nausėda, in the presidential runoff.  «We’ve had a female president for ten years; now it’s time we had men at the helm of the country,» he told reporters after casting an early ballot in Vilnius.  According to him, Nausėda represents the Christian, family values promoted by his party, while Ingrida Šimonytė, the conservatives’ presidential candidate, is a liberal.

«Pecking» each other’s «feathers», not ripping them out

 Unlike in some recent presidential elections, like in Ukraine, for example, where the electoral campaign was marked with animosity among the candidates and in the public, too, Lithuania’s top-tier election did not trigger notably adverse, disrespect-laden outbursts, with both candidates largely shunning to get in each other’s face. According to Rima Urbonaitė, a political scientist, both candidates are just «pecking» each other’s «feathers», but not ripping them out or even roughing them up. Agreeing, Rimvydas Valatka, a well-known Lithuanian commentator, noted that both candidates remind «kids in the sandbox.» «If someone raises doubts about the origin of the money, I’d slap the table with the invoices, allowing all to go through them.»

Exemplary election in terms of ethics

 «If not for the revelation by conservative parliamentarian Rasa Juknevičienė that she has met Nausėda and that she has supposedly been asked by him to strip Vygantas Ušackas (a former presidential race contender in the Conservative primaries) off the HU-LCD membership, if not for the lashing out by some Catholic priests at Šimonytė as a pro-abortion and pro-gay rights candidate, the election would be exemplary, I mean in terms of ethics. We had neither black technologies, nor fishing expeditions and both candidates were pleasant and polite to each other. In a word, both were very sympathetic,» Vladas Gaidys, head of Vilmorus, a pollster, told BNN.

Šimonytė is being seen as liberal

Vytautas Dumbliauskas, associate professor at Vilnius’ Mykolas Romeris University, told BNN the ethic political campaign is due to two factors. «First, both candidates are very intelligent, non-scandalous and respectful people. We may have seen quite a different picture if there were other two candidates for the runoff. Besides, the society is changing – becoming more tactful,» he underscored. Asked to opine who will win in Sunday’s vote, Dumbliauskas reasoned it might depend on…rain. «If it rains, there will be a lower turnout at the voting precincts. With Saulius Skvernelis out of the race after the first election round, his supporters might not want to get wet and go out to vote,» the political analyst pondered. «Should they vote, the majority will support Nausėda, I believe,» he added. To the remark that Šimonytė is being shown by many as too liberal to be the Conservatives’ candidate, he answered that the times went voters of HU-LCD voted only for candidates speaking of the devotion to the Catholic Church and the hardcore Conservative tenets are gone. «The current Lithuanian Conservatives and their leader (Gabrielius Landsbergis) are pretty liberal. Many liberals joined the party after the troubles of the Lithuanian Liberal Movement,» he noted.

Outgoing president: Lithuania is lucky to have «worthy» candidates

Lithuania is fortunate to have two «worthy» candidates competing with each other to be elected president in Sunday’s runoff, outgoing President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Tuesday, May 21. «All of us in Lithuania are fortunate that the second round will be a contest between the candidates who deserve to be in the second round,» she told reporters after casting her early vote at the Vilnius municipality building in Vilnius. The outgoing president would not reveal which of the candidates she voted for.


Leave a reply

VID officials will need to have spotless reputation, Saeima decides

From now on, officials of the State Revenue Service (VID) will need to have a spotless reputation. This is decided by Saeima’s amendments to the Law on State Revenue Service approved in the final reading on 5 December, as BNN was told by Saeima’s press-service.

Brazil at risk of losing vote in UN General Assembly because of high debts

There are risks that because of failure to pay its debts to the United Nations Organization, Brazil could lose its voting rights in the UN General Assembly, Reuters reports.

Strained Lithuanian budget is desperate for additional sources of revenues

With the adoption of the new year’s budget skidding, two major professional groups – teachers and doctors – have had this week their demand for higher salaries satisfied, thus deepening the holes in the shallowing budget. Where to scoop up money to patch all the gaps and satisfy all the demands? This week, Seimas, Lithuanian legislature, was in a frantic search for additional sources of revenues.

Estonian Police and Border Guard Board official detained on suspicion of embezzlement

Estonian Internal Security Service has detained a senior officer of Police and Border Guard Board at the South Prefecture on suspicion of document forgery and embezzlement of more than EUR 250 000, as reported by Estonian public media ERR.

Saeima supports government’s decision to extend state of emergency in Riga

On Thursday, 5 December, Saeima agreed with the government’s decision to extend the state of emergency with waste management in Riga’s administrative territory until 12 March 2020, as reported by the Saeima’s press-service.

Flu infection rates remain low in Latvia, but infection spread continues nonetheless

A total of 30 clinically confirmed flu infection cases were registered in Latvia’s healthcare institutions. Nevertheless, virus activity remains low in the country, according to the latest monitoring report on influenza and acute upper respiratory tract infections compiled by Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

France braces for intense protests over Macron’s intended pension reform

France shaken by this decade’s biggest protests in which trade unions urge other residents to oppose French President Emmanuel Macron’s intended pension reform, Reuters reports.

Marguerite Fund to sell Conexus shares to Japanese Marubeni fund

Shareholder in Latvian natural gas transmission and storage system operator Conexus Baltic Grid, Marguerite Fund plans to sell its owned 29.06% of Conexus shares to Japanese company Marubeni fund.

Saeima’s majority may move towards Riga City Council’s dismissal

The majority of Latvia’s Saeima may vote towards dismissing Riga City Council, according to unofficial information from LETA. There is also a more reserved position on this, but generally it is admitted that Riga City Council’s dismissal process will be initiated.

National Economy Committee invites reviewing Rail Baltica project’s management structure

«Considering the unstable situation and lasting stagnation with the project’s management, the National Economy Committee invites Transport Ministry to review the structure of RB Rail,» says Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee chairman Jānis Vitenbergs.

«Riga’s residents overpay.» Kleins proposes terminating contract with Rīgas karte

Riga City Council vice-chairman and shareholder in municipal company LLC Rīgas satiksme Druvis Kleins, has ordered the company’s lawyers to assess the option of quickly terminating the contract with LLC Rīgas karte, as confirmed by Kleins, who represents For Riga! bloc in the city council.

Newspaper: Russia plans to deploy a motorized division in Kaliningrad next year

Russia has plans to deploy a motorized division in Kaliningrad Oblast, which shares borders with Poland and Lithuania, as reported by Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Ex-president says conflicts with territorial reform surface where the rich refuse to share

The objective of the territorial reform remains unchanged – forming economically more efficient administrative territories. This means creating counties able to sustain themselves and develop economically. Conflicts with the reform usually surface in areas, where the rich refuse to share. There are also situations when the poor want to receive and do nothing on their own, BNN was told by ex-President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers.

October’s industrial production output in Latvia increases 3%

Compared to October 2018, industrial production output increased by 3 % in October 2019, according to calendar adjusted data at constant prices.

Iceland’s prime minister urges making welfare a budget priority

Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir urges the government to focus on priorities that serve the interest of families and nature, not focus exclusively on economic growth, BBC reports.

NATO leaders meet in spite of tension to discuss security challenges

In spite of ongoing rows, leaders of NATO member states met near London on Wednesday, 4 December, to discuss important topics like cyber security and strategic challenges created by China, BBC reports.

Latvian government extends state of emergency with waste management in Riga

Although Riga City Council has stated multiple times that it is not necessary to extend the state of emergency with waste management, Latvia’s government has nevertheless decided to extend it until March 2020.

SEB Bank clients now able to use mobile devices to pay for goods and services

SEB Bank clients who have a mobile phone with Android OS are now able to pay for goods and services using their phones. It is possible to use mobile phones to for transactions up to EUR 150 in Latvia and abroad using contact-free terminals, the bank reports.

Kleins: we may have to review who receives public transport discounts in Riga

Considering the complicated financial situation at Rīgas satiksme public transport company, it may be necessary to review which groups of people receive discounts and benefits, said Riga City Council’s vice-chairman Druvis Kleins in an interview to Latvijas Radio on Wednesday, 4 December.

Latvian pupils’ mathematics score above average among OECD member states

Latvian pupils’ mathematics skills are reportedly higher than average among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to results of OECD PISA 2018.

Environment Ministry to decide on Riga City Council’s dismissal this week

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s lawyers will prepare a report this week on whether or not it is necessary to initiate dismissal of Riga City Council, as journalists were told by Environment Protection Minister Juris Pūce on Tuesday, 3 December.

Turkey upholds veto against NATO Baltic defence plans; Lithuania hopes for compromise

Ankara has reiterated its stance of blocking the adoption of updated Baltic defence plans in NATO as a bargaining chip in its attempts to label Kurdish groups in Syria as terrorists, according to the Turkish policy.

In spite of suspicions of fraud in VID, government promotes Kaspars Podiņš to general

Although multiple objections have been voiced in regards to Kaspars Podiņš’s work as chief of State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Office, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has nevertheless decided to promote him to general.

Estonian pupils – best among European nations in PISA education test

Estonian pupils’ skills have topped the list of European nations in the latest ranking of average education results of the survey of Programme for International Student Assessment carried out by the OECD in 79 countries and economies.

Latvia’s ruling coalition officially agrees on Kazāks as chosen Bank of Latvia governor

Parties of the ruling coalition in Latvia have agreed to pick the central bank’s council member Mārtiņš Kazāks as their chosen candidate for the posting of governor of the Bank of Latvia, politicians told journalists on Tuesday, 3 December after a meeting of ruling parties.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!