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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Thursday that she will not publicly support any candidate to replace her when her second presidential term ends next year.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© Robertas Dačkus

"I'll make no comments on any candidate and their speeches and I won't publicly express my support for any of the candidates so that to remain neutral and not to influence the opinion of the people of Lithuania, leaving it for them to decide what president they want," she told reporters on Thursday.

Lithuania's former diplomat and foreign minister Vygaudas Ušackas, MPs Žygimantas Pavilionis, Aušra Maldeikienė and Naglis Puteikis, and MEP Valentinas Mazuronis have already announced that they will stand in next May's presidential election.

Gitanas Nausėda, an economist who has recently announced his resignation as advisor to SEB Bankas' president, and Arvydas Juozaitis, a philosopher and one of the initiators of the Lithuanian reform movement Sąjūdis, have said they are considering running for the post.

Other potential candidates include MP Ingrida Šimonytė, European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis.

Official campaigning will start in October or November when the Seimas will set the presidential election date.

The first round of voting is likely to be held on May 12, 2019 and a run-off vote, if needed, on May 26.

BNS
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