As preliminary mayoral election results in Vilnius indicate victory for liberal Remigijus Šimašius, professor Tomas Janeliūnas of the International Relations and Political Science Institute of Vilnius University says that the political future for outgoing Mayor Artūras Zuokas will essentially depend on his visibility in the opposition of Vilnius City Council.
Artūras Zuokas
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

According to Janeliūnas, Zuokas has always been politically immortal and managed to find his way back even after his biggest defeats.

"It is hard to find any other politician as resilient as Zuokas, who is capable of getting back his popularity by changing various political parties and forms of movements which he uses to run for elections with. I believe this [defeat in mayoral election] is what could help Zuokas look for other opportunities in order to stay in politics," the professor told Elta.

However, despite Zuokas' vitality, it will be a hard job for him to stay in the political arena because the majority of his party's (Lithuanian Freedom Union, Liberals) base are only from Vilnius.

"One way or another, the existence of Zuokas' party will depend on how visible they are in Vilnius. Probably they will be very active in the opposition. Since they have years of experience of leading Vilnius, their opposition actions most probably will be visible enough, which will determine whether Zuokas will be preparing for the next mayoral election or will go national," said Janeliūnas.

When asked why Valdemar Tomaševski, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (LLRA), did not officially endorse Zuokas, as many had expected, the professor said that it was a rational decision to be made by the LLRA since this political party in interested in keeping voters loyal only to them.

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