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2019.05.06 09:48

Early voting starts in Lithuania's presidential election and two referendums

Saulius Jakučionis, Austėja Masiokaitė-Liubinienė, BNS2019.05.06 09:48

Early voting in Lithuania's presidential election and referendums on expanding dual citizenship and on reducing the number parliament members begins on Monday.

Early voting polling stations in municipal buildings across Lithuania will be open between 8:00 and 20:00 on Monday through Friday.

Elena Skirmantienė, 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 Grybauskaitė plans to cast her vote on Wednesday, her spokeswoman, Daiva Ulbinaitė, has told BNS.

On Sunday, election day, polling stations will open at 7:00 and will close on 20:00.

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

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 another country. The list of countries is 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 reducing the number of members of the parliament, Seimas, from 141 to 121.