News2019.05.13 11:07

Šimonytė says she could work with Skvernelis as MP; doubts support from populists

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS 2019.05.13 11:07

Ingrida Šimonytė, the conservative presidential candidate who made it to the May 26 runoff, says she could work with Saulius Skvernelis if he stayed on as prime minister; doubts she could receive the backing of populist parties.

"I don't know what Skvernelis is going to say this morning after speaking to his wife, but I believe the Constitutional Court has made it very clear – if there is the same majority in the Seimas, the president is obliged to nominate the same prime minister, " she said at a news conference on Monday.

Šimonytė added, however, that "there is no forced labor in Lithuania", and it is up to Skvernelis to decide.

"But if all these emotions calm down and the Farmers and Greens decide that there is the same majority and confidence in the prime minister, I believe I would really manage to work with Saulius Skvernelis," she said.  

Commenting on an early election or a minority government led by the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), the presidential candidate said, "I'm not ruling out any option."  

The two possible scenarios have been suggested by the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) in case the party’s candidates perform poorly in the presidential and European Parliament elections.  

Simonyte said an early election could benefit the LVŽS in that it could give the party "a new mandate and a new inspiration".  

The candidate said she will hold talks with other political parties in an effort to muster more votes in the runoff.

She expects support from parties "with liberal [and] social-democratic views", but doubts she could receive the backing of political forces relying on "people's fears". 

Šimonytė received 31.13 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, narrowly beating her nearest rival, Gitanas Nausėda, with 30.95 percent, figures from figures from the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) showed on Monday morning.  

With votes from all 1,972 voting districts counted, the results showed Šimonytė leading Nausėda by 2,647 votes.

Skvernelis came in third with 19.72 percent support and failed to advance to the May 26 runoff. 

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme

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