News2019.11.25 10:30

Lithuanian president's popularity plunges 10 points

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda's popularity rating has dropped almost 10 percentage points, according to the latest Vilmorus survey. The president is still viewed positively by over two thirds of the public.

The survey, published by the Lietuvos Rytas daily on Saturday, shows that 72.8 percent of people had a favourable opinion about the president in November, compared to 82.5 percent in October. The share of those disapproving of Nausėda's performance went up from 3.3 percent to 8.7 percent.

The popularity rating of over 80 percent that Nausėda's previously enjoyed was quite abnormal, political scientist Kęstutis Girnius says, and had more to do with the post-election „euphoria“ than the president's actual perfomance in the office that he assumed in July.

“It always happens so that after an election, people have the best possible opinion about the person,” the associate processor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University told BNS.

Once elected officials are forced to make decisions that are not liked by everyone, their popularity drops, he added.

Girnius believes the president's rating could have been affected by disagreements with the government over taxes, his calls to increase defence spending and also his vetoes on certain laws adopted by the parliament.

“People see that he is not a person who will resolve everything,” the political scientist said.

Vilmorus director Vladas Gaidys told BNS that the president's popularity rating could have been affected by his decision to visit his daughter in Korea when firefighters were battling a major fire at a tire recycling factory in Lithuania's southern city of Alytus.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is the second most popular politician with approval ratings of 50.7 percent in November, up from 50.1 percent in October. Third is Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius with 50.2 percent (49.6 percent in October), followed by Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis with 47.6 percent (49.4 percent in October), Economy and Innovation Minister and Lithuania's designated European commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius with 43.3 percent (49.5 percent in October).

Vilmorus surveyed 1,020 people on November 8-16.

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