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2019.05.21 12:24

President Grybauskaitė says both candidates to succeed her are ‘worthy’

Lithuania is fortunate to have two “worthy” candidates competing for the country's presidency in Sunday's runoff election, outgoing President Dalia Grybauskaitė says.

“All of us in Lithuania are fortunate that the second round will be a contest between the candidates who deserve to be in the second round,” she told reporters after casting her early vote at the Vilnius municipality building in Vilnius on Tuesday.

Grybauskaitė said voters expected from their head of state to ensure stability, peace and prosperity.

“The new president will have to take over all these things as a huge responsibility,” she said.

The May 26 runoff will see Ingrida Šimonytė, a former finance minister nominated by the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, facing Gitanas Nausėda, an economist standing as an independent candidate.

One of them will replace Grybauskaitė who is ending her second term as president in July.

Grybauskaitė refused to disclose how she voted in the presidential runoff.

The president also cast an early ballot in the European Parliament elections.

“I do hope that our people will do their best to elect those who work, not just sit and enjoy a good salary,” she told reporters.

Candidates fielded by 16 political parties and public election committees are vying for Lithuania's 11 seats in the European Parliament.

Grybauskaitė described her two terms as Lithuanian president as an enormous, but interesting challenge.

“I'm really happy that the Lithuanian people entrusted me with this challenge for all ten years,” she said.

“I had to learn every day; the situation was different every day,” Grybauskaitė said, adding that two presidential terms were enough in a democratic state.