Early voting for Lithuania's presidential election and referendums on expanding dual citizenship and on reducing the number of seats in the Seimas got underway on Monday.
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

Early voting polling stations in municipal buildings across Lithuania will be open between 8 a.m. and 20 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Elena Skirmantiene, chairwoman of the Kaunas city electoral commission, says the extension of the voting period to five days, from two days in previous elections, is quite a challenge for electoral commissions.

"We are not used to it. It will be difficult, because we need a large number of commission members," she told BNS.

Outgoing President Dalia Grybauskaite plans to cast her vote on Wednesday, her spokeswoman, Daiva Ulbinaite, has told BNS.

On Sunday, election day, polling stations will open at 7 a.m. and will close on 8 p.m.

Nine candidates are running for president: European Commissioner Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis, MEP Valentinas Mazuronis, economist Gitanas Nauseda, MP Mindaugas Puidokas, MP Naglis Puteikis, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, MP Ingrida Simonyte and MEP Valdemar Tomasevski.

In the referendum on amending Article 12 of the Constitution, voters will be asked to decide whether to allow Lithuanian citizens by birth to retain their Lithuanian citizenship when they acquire the citizenship of a state meeting European and transatlantic integration criteria, with a list of such countries to be set by a constitutional law.

Currently, people who left Lithuania after it regained independence in 1990 cannot hold dual citizenship, except for individual cases.

In the referendum on Article 55 of the Constitution, voters will vote on the following amended: "The Seimas shall consist of representatives of the Nation — 121 Members of the Seimas, who shall be elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot." The parliament currently consists of 141 members.

BNS
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