Lithuania’s prime minister says no decision on participating in presidential elections before 2019

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Lithuania’s prime minister says no decision on participating in presidential elections before 2019

Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis would announce his decision about participating in the next presidential elections only at the start of 2019, local media announced on Wednesday.

“I believe it is too early to announce any decisions at the moment. They must be announced on proper time, which means just before the start of 2019,” Skvernelis said in an interview with Lithuanian business newspaper Verslo Zinios.

The current PM is being mentioned by local political experts as one of potential successors to the incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite. Lithuania’s presidential elections will take place in May 2019.

Skvernelis noted in the interview that his current priority is to implement necessary reforms.

“2017 and the first half of 2018, when the upcoming elections are relatively far away, gives a good chance to implement decisions on necessary reforms,” he said.

“According to my calculations, the best time to leave the office of the prime minister would be December 2020, after the full four-year term,” the PM added.

Lithuania’s incumbent President Grybauskaite became the first president of Lithuania to be reelected for a second consecutive term in 2014.

According to Lithuania’s constitution, the president is elected directly for a five-year term and can serve maximum of two terms consecutively.

According to the poll conducted by local Vilmorus research centre back in June, President Grybauskaite remains the most popular politician in Lithuania with 64.4 percent of respondents’ support, while Skvernelis ranks second with 47.9 percent.

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