Ingrida Šimonytė and Gitanas Nausėda have decided to participate in the presidential elections. They are in neither the left, nor the right shelf, more uniting than divisive candidates and perhaps they are what Lithuania needs today, Lithuanian Act of Independence signatory Albinas Januška told lrt.lt. Furthermore, G. Nausėda would apparently be the main barrier to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis entering the second round of the presidential elections, if the PM did choose to candidate, lrt.lt writes.
Ingrida Šimonytė, Gitanas Nausėda
Ingrida Šimonytė, Gitanas Nausėda
© DELFI montage

In mid-November, the Delfi news portal released a Spinter Tyrimai survey, which showed that in the presidential candidate ratings, G. Nausėda, a former economist for the SEB bank, remains in first place, with Conservative party candidate I. Šimonytė in second and PM S. Skvernelis, who has not declared his decision so far, in third.

The latest survey by Vilmorus, commissioned by the newspaper Lietuvos Rytas shows that in the candidate ratings, I. Šimonytė is nearing G. Nausėda. 20% of respondents now view her as the most suitable candidate, while G. Nausėda – 25%. The surveys show that G. Nausėda's ratings have been growing every month by one percent. In September, I. Šimonytė was viewed as a suitable candidate by 10% of respondents, in October – 18%. Meanwhile, the ratings of other candidates, who have not declared their candidacies, are much lower.

Candidates will drop out, I. Šimonytė has an important task

"If we are to believe in the ratings, almost half of Lithuania's citizens intend to choose between G. Nausėda and I. Šimonytė. This is good news that such a significant number of voters are sufficiently rational and stable.

These two candidates are sufficiently universal, not on the left, nor the right shelf, not of the "first" or "second" Lithuania, more uniting than divisive nd thus they perhaps are at least the minimum Lithuania needs today. Which of them will come first if the choice was only between them? It is hard to say today because this will come down to more emotion and sympathies than rationality," A. Januška told lrt.lt.

Meanwhile the others, second and third league candidates, will be sharing the votes of the rest of Lithuania and if the two first league candidates do not make mistakes, today they have no hope of entering the second round. According to A. Januška, there isn't really any room for another first league candidate to appear, "Unless there is some sort of "bomb", which it is actually hard to even theoretically imagine today."

"Candidates will drop out because a part of them will fail to gather sufficiently many signatures, especially those entering the elections without the support of political parties or with weak parties. This threat looms over G. Nausėda as well. Then an opportunity opens for S. Skvernelis, who could become a candidate for the broad left, however, for now he has neither strategy, nor team. Theoretically, S. Skvernelis could win in the second round of the presidential elections, but so far he cannot enter it," A. Januška explains.

According to the signatory, today the main obstacle to the prime minister entering the second round of the presidential elections is G. Nausėda, thus voters, who do not want to see the complete Lithuanian Farmer and Greens Union pyramid of Seimas-Prime Minister-President, should support G. Nausėda; not just passively, but gather to help him assemble signatures.

"For I. Šimonytė, the most important task is to expand her electorate and for this intent, she will likely demonstrate a strong team, comprised of more than just Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats members. But this is just tactics and procedures.

In my opinion, what is bad news for Lithuania is that for now we have not heard strategic news for Lithuania, which could turn Lithuania from dirt roads to highways, from any of the candidates. Do you remember a single key piece of news regarding any candidate? That said, there is time still and hope dies last," A. Januška told lrt.lt.

The presidential elections will be held on May 12, 2019. MEP Petras Auštrevičius, philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis, MP Aušra Maldeikienė, MEP Valentinas Mazuronis, economist G. Nausėda, MP Naglis Puteikis and MP I. Šimonytė have so far declared their intent to participate.

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