Gitanas Nauseda and his wife celebrate his victory in the Lithuanian presidential runoff in Vilnius, Lithuania, May 26, 2019. Gitanas Nauseda won Lithuania's presidential election, garnering almost 69 percent of the vote and beating his rival Ingrida Simonyte in the runoff on Sunday, preliminary data from the country's Central Electoral Commission (VRK) showed. (Xinhua/Alfredas Pliadis)
VILNIUS, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Economist Gitanas Nauseda won Lithuania's presidential election, garnering almost 69 percent of the vote and beating his rival Ingrida Simonyte in the runoff on Sunday, preliminary data from the country's Central Electoral Commission (VRK) showed.
"I hope that we will be able, together with other institutions, to achieve the goal of making life in Lithuania better. We are the country which has achieved a lot and I hope that we will move forward," Nauseda told supporters after the preliminary election results were announced by VRK.
According to the VRK data after votes in 1710 polling stations out of the total 1972 stations counted, Nauseda led the race with 68.80 percent of voters' support, while Simonyte ranked second with 29.83 percent.
"I will do my best and I believe that my team will do everything for the sake of Lithuania, so that the Lithuanian people would not be disappointed in politics in general as foreign and interior polices are the corner-stones for Lithuania's well-being and security," Nauseda added.
Before starting presidential campaign, Nauseda was serving as chief economist at one of Lithuania's largest banks.
Nauseda said that his first task at the president's office would be forming the government and striving for its continuity and stability.
According to Lithuania's Constitution, the country's government must return its mandate to a newly elected president who later decides on possible changes in the cabinet.
Nauseda will replace the incumbent president Dalia Grybauskaite after her two terms in the office.
Grybauskaite has extended her greetings to the president-elect.
"I congratulate Lithuania on having elected the new president. I wish that people's expectations would be fulfilled and turned into actual deeds. I wish Gitanas Nauseda strength and success," Grybauskaite wrote on Facebook on Sunday night.
The newly elected president will be inaugurated on July 12.
Simonyte admitted defeat and congratulated her rival on victory.
"I truly believe that whoever is elected today will carry out the duties of the president of Lithuania with dignity," Simonyte stated earlier on the election's night.
Sunday's run-off poll in Lithuania was held after neither candidate secured more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round of the election on May 12.
VRK data showed that turnout in the presidential runoff stood at 53.43 percent, including advance voting.