Lithuanian economist and MP Aušra Maldeikienė, 60, on Monday announced her plans to run for president next year and is starting her election campaign with a tour around Lithuania.
Aušra Maldeikienė
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"It's time to remember that we restored Lithuania not only for it to be a good place to live for the chosen ones, for those who were born in the right family," she told journalists, presenting her election program. "We need a peaceful revolution."

Her presidential election campaign under a slogan "Aušra comes after dark" (A play on words since her first name means "dawn" in Lithuania) includes 95 theses. For example, she is in favor of progressive taxes, and also underlines that "the mission of universities is to spread free thought and critical thinking and not to service the labor market". She also states that "a state cannot be built on blackmail, lies and badmouthing opponents".

This is Maldeikienė's first term as an MP. Earlier, she served on Vilnius City Council, and has also given lectures at universities and worked in the media and PR areas.

Presidential elections in Lithuania and scheduled for May, 2019.

Besides Maldeikienė, only MEP Valentinas Mazuronis and MP Naglis Puteikis have so far officially confirmed their presidential bids. Former diplomats Vygaudas Ušackas and Žygimantas Pavilionis have announced their plans to take part in the opposition Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats' primaries for choosing a presidential candidate.

The opposition Liberal Movement said earlier it would nominate MEP Petras Auštrevičius.

Philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis is also mulling running for Lithuania's president.

Other potential candidates include SEB bank's economist Gitanas Nausėda, MP Ingrida Šimonytė, EU commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, and Visvaldas Matijošaitis, the mayor of Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas, enjoying a high popularity rating. They have not announced their decisions yet.

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