Latviski English По-русски
Monday 30.03.2020 | Name days: Nanija, Ilgmārs, Igmārs

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

(+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

Latvian government imposes new restrictions on public gatherings

A new restriction imposed by the Latvian government states that no more than two people are allowed to gather in a room of a public place. This restriction will not extend to people living in the same household, parents and their children, as well as persons performing duties associated with their profession.

Round timber price decline observed in Latvia in first half-year of 2019

Compared to the 1st half of 2019, the average purchase prices both of coniferous round timber and of deciduous trees fell in the 2nd half of 2019. The largest drop was recorded in the prices of black alder sawlogs in diameter 18–24 cm, while the smallest decline was observed in the prices of asp sawlogs in diameter 18–24 cm.

Detachment to grow harder, important to maintain routine, says Estonian psychologist

A psychologist in Estonia, where an emergency situation has been in place for ten days amid a COVID-19 outbreak, has evaluated that it will become harder to live in isolation and suggested having a daily routine, ERR reports.

KPV LV picks Nemiro as vice-chairman despite reputation problems

Ralfs Nemiro and Ēriks Pucens were picked as KPV LV political party chairman Atis Zakatistovs deputies during the first online meeting of the newly-elected management board, as reported by the party.

Why does Latvia’s Interior Affairs Minister want the football federation president’s post?

Although Latvian Interior Affairs Minister Sandis Ģirģens should be putting all effort into his direct duties and measures to limit COVID-19, he, in spite of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s objections, he still intends to run for the post of president of Latvian Football Federation.

Latest COVID-19 data for Baltics. 376 in Latvia, 484 in Lithuania, 715 in Estonia

The number of COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 376, which is the lowest number of infections among Baltic States. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 484 infections. 44 of the infected people are medical workers.

Rīgas satiksme cancels most discounts for the duration of state of emergency

On 27 March Riga City Council’s interim administration decided to cancel most of the discounts offered to residents in public transport to reduce passenger flow and limit the spread of COVID-19, as reported by the city council.

In Spain, 838 people die from COVID-19 one day

In Spain, in one day to Sunday, March 29, 838 people have died from health problems related to COVID-19. Meanwhile, in Italy, for the second consecutive day, the number of lethal cases dropped.

COVID-19 confirmed for Stradins Hospital surgeon

Infection with COVID-19 coronavirus has been confirmed for a surgeon working at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, as reported by LTV programme Panorāma.

airBaltic to recover pre-crisis operation volumes in 2021, if not sooner

Latvia’s national airline airBaltic may recover its pre-crisis operation volumes in 2021, if not sooner, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

Russia closes land border; trucks exempt from ban

Russia is closing from Monday, March 30, its borders in a measure to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, but cargo trucks will be allowed to cross the border, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Covid-19 update in Baltics. 347 in Latvia, 437 in Lithuania, 679 in Estonia

The number of Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 347, which is the lowest number of infections among Baltic States. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 437 infections.

Week in Lithuania: 5th person succumbs to COVID-19, court postpones January 13 case hearing, new ambassadors appointed

Last week, in Lithuania, the President urged EU leaders to be tougher on COVID-19 after the fifth person in Lithuania died from COVID-19. In other news, Senukai retail chain was cleared by Competition watchdog and a court postponed the hearing of the January 13 case.

BNN summary of the week: Muižnieks reinstated as rector. Friendly fuel prices

BNN gives you a summary of the key events of the past week, told in news stories of the following topics: State of Emergency, Post, Outlook, Solutions, Opinion and Price decline.

1 500 people have returned to Latvia since the beginning of state of emergency

After 27 March, no repatriation flights are planned for Latvian citizens unless it is an emergency, as confirmed by Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s press-secretary Jānis Beķeris.

Covid-19 infection confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital

Covid-19 infection has been confirmed for a doctor of Rēzekne Hospital, as reported by Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre. The centre received this information on Thursday, 26 March. SPKC notes the infected doctor has been provided with recommendations for preventive measures.

Europol warns about rapid crime rate increase during coronavirus pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic there has been an increase with crime rates, as criminals and criminal organizations quickly adapt their methods, as reported by Europol on Friday, 27 March.

Experts explain | don’t buy into internet offers of slimming pills – they don’t exist!

The healthy lifestyle cult has become more popular in recent years. This tendency has opened the way for greedy snake oil salesmen to get rich at the expense of people who want to become slim, especially now, when residents stay home and want to stay in good shape without exercising.

Estonia orders protective equipment from China for 10 million euros

Estonia has ordered from a company in China antiviral protection and medial equipment worth more than 10 million euros. Tallinn explained supplies could not be ordered in Europe right now, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported.

Electricity price reduces for households in Latvia

From Q4 2019 onward the price of electricity has reduced, according to the latest market data from the Public Utilities Commission. Prices benefit from warm weather and recovery of water reserves, which allows increasing the power production output at hydroelectric power stations.

Latest Covid-19 data for Baltics. 280 in Latvia, 344 in Lithuania, 575 in Estonia

The number of Covid-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 280, which means this country has the lowest number of infection cases among the three Baltic States. Lithuanian media report 344 infection cases.

BNN asks | expert speaks about the «panic» over coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

I would like to explain to readers that the word panic may not be the best description for the general mood that has increased in many parts of the world, including Latvia, in the past several weeks because of the new coronavirus.

EU states agree to overcome virus outbreak and economic crisis together

The EU heads of member states and governments have agreed in a distance meeting to fight the virus outbreak in the territory of the bloc with joint efforts, ensuring the supply of medical equipment and funding the development of a vaccine, the EU European Council sated in a press release.

Workers from all industries eligible for idleness benefits in Latvia

After meeting certain criteria, workers from companies working in all industries will become eligible for idleness benefits, as provided by Latvian Cabinet of Ministers supported rules developed by Economy Ministry for support of companies affected by Covid-19.

US surpasses China with largest number of coronavirus infections

In the US, the world’s largest number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus has been registered, surpassing the official data of China, American news agency Associated Press reports.

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