Voters to pick successor of Lithuania’s popular ‘Iron Lady’
By LIUDAS DAPKUS Associated Press
May 09, 2019 11:51 PM
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite speaks to the members of press at a polling station during the advance presidential elections in Vilnius, Lithuania, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Lithuanians will head to the polls on Sunday, May 12, in a first round of presidential elections.
Nine candidates are vying to become Lithuania’s next president, including a well-known economist, an ex-finance minister and the current prime minister.
Term limits require the Baltic country’s current head of state, President Dalia Grybauskaite, to step down after two five-year terms. The first round in an election to choose her successor is scheduled for Sunday.
The campaign has focused on domestic issues such as the economy, corruption and social welfare, even though foreign policy and defense are two of the presidency’s main purviews.
The leading candidates include Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, former banking economist Gitanas Nauseda and former Finance Minister Ingrida Simonyte.
Grybauskaite’s anti-Russia views, no-nonsense style and karate black belt earned her the “Iron Lady” label previously applied to Margaret Thatcher when she was U.K. prime minister.