Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Presidential Election in Lithuania

At last count, there were 37 political parties registered with the Ministry of Justice in Lithuania.  That makes the politics of this small country--there are only 3 million people living here--fairly complicated.  Plus, they have a popularly elected president in addition to a parliament and prime minister. 

The results of last Sunday's preliminary presidential election are in, and incumbent president Dalia Grybauskaite garnered 46% of the vote, not enough to preempt a runoff election pitting her against the #2 candidate, Zigmantas Balcytis, a social democrat.  The run-off is scheduled for May 25. 

Grybauskaite, a former EU budget commissioner and a black-belt in karate, is an ex-communist who has earned a reputation for harboring no illusions about Soviet expansionism as it pertains to the Baltic states.  She's also a Ph.D. who did post-doctoral work at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1990, around the time the U.S.S.R. was dissolving.  Click here to read the recent story about her in the Guardian

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