Lithuania’s ruling Labor Party and Order and Justice party pledged support for the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania’s presidential candidate Zigmantas Balčytis following Monday lunch of the leaders of the ruling parties.
Meanwhile Valdemar Tomasevski, leader of another ruling party – the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – and one of the former presidential candidates, said he had no mandate for such a pledge.
“It is easier for us than other coalition partners. We voiced our decision last week and stick with it (support for Balčytis – BNS). I think Lithuania needs a different president. (…) Lithuanian citizens showed that they want a different president. This is proved by the fact that 350,000 fewer people voted for Grybauskaitė than five years ago,” Rolandas Paksas, leader of the ruling Order and Justice party, told journalists.
Viktor Uspaskich, honorary chairman of the ruling Labor Party, said he had pledged support for Balčytis and hoped that the party’s council would back his position.
In his words, Balčytis has all chances to win against Grybauskaitė in the run-off.
“There are 100-per cent chances of winning as there are still people who did not come to vote in the first round. Perhaps they did not come because they thought the result was pre-determined. Now the intrigue can wake those who did not come up. The chance exists and practice proved that,” Uspaskich said.
Balčytis believes support of the ruling parties will be enough to win the run-off. And he also expects support of other parties.
Uspaskich also said possible changes in the Cabinet following the presidential elections were discussed during the meeting.
“We talked about the ministers today as well that the Labor Party has stronger candidates for ministers,” Uspaskich said.
The incumbent Lithuanian president received over 46 per cent of votes in the first round of voting on Sunday and around 14 per cent of people voted for Balčytis. The run-off will take place on May 25 when Lithuanians will also choose their members of the European Parliament.