Lithuanian presidential candidate asked to withdraw from election in favor of PM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-09 00:10:36|Editor: yan
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VILNIUS, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's ruling Farmers and Greens Union (LVZS) leader Ramunas Karbauskis said on Wednesday he had addressed one of country's presidential candidates to quit the presidential race in favor of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

"If this person's decision (to withdraw from presidential race) will help decide for a few hundred of people, probably we will be able to ensure the continuity of our work and our reforms," Karbauskis was quoted as saying by local media.

Karbauskis on Wednesday cast his ballot in the country's presidential election and two referendums in advance at Kaunas city municipality, where he said he voted for Skvernelis, nominated by LVZS.

Last week, Karbauskis stated that his party may quit the ruling coalition if Skvernelis does not make into second round of presidential election and if the party loses the European Parliament elections later this month.

Initially not naming the candidate whom he addressed, Karbauskis later confirmed that he had discussed possible removal from presidential rally with Naglis Puteikis, one of 9 candidates.

"I have his (Puteikis') permission to confirm it," Karbauskis was quoted as saying by local news website

Karbauskis explained that his intention was "not to split" voters' support for Skvernelis.

Chairman of the Lithuanian Centre Party and its presidential nominee Puteikis declared in a separate statement on Wednesday that he was considering to withdraw from the race and urged voters to cast ballots not for him but against economist Gitanas Nauseda.

According to the latest survey conducted by pollster Spinter Tyrimai on April 20-29 and published by, MP, former Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte and economist Nauseda lead the rally with respectively 26.2 percent and 24.6 percent of voters' support.

Incumbent PM and presidential candidate Skvernelis held third place with 16.6 percent support.

Puteikis was supported by a marginal 1.5 percent voters' share, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission (VRK) stated that formally candidates can no longer withdraw their candidacies.

"Under the Law on Presidential Elections, every presidential candidate in Lithuania has the right to withdraw their application documents no later than 35 days until the election day. Now, there is no way back. The names of candidates are already on ballot-papers, voters are already voting," VRK chairwoman Laura Matjosaityte was quoted as saying by news agency Elta.

The scheduled presidential elections and two referendums in Lithuania will be held on May 12, with the second round of the presidential elections scheduled for May 26 if necessary. On May 26, Lithuania also holds its elections to the European Parliament.