„I continue to believe in all the principles I have declared and pursue them with consistency, energy and health. It is a challenging job. But when you see the sometimes-modest results after those difficult days and challenges, that is the greatest joy I can experience in my life as a human being.
So, I am determined to keep going. I will run in the presidential elections of the Republic of Lithuania in May 2024, and I hope that the people of Lithuania will give me a strong mandate of trust, just as they did in 2019,“ Nausėda said after his half-hour speech.
Immediately after the President's remarks, journalists could ask him questions. The Head of State was asked if he thought might be criticised for announcing his decision from the Presidential Palace, using his official position and the resources of the Presidency.
„Even if I went to Daukanto Square, I would probably be accused of the same thing. I do not doubt that President Dalia Grybauskaitė must have felt the same way during her second term in office in 2014,“ Nausėda replied.
Asked how he assesses his chances of celebrating victory again, the President said he respects all candidates. According to the Head of State, the population will undoubtedly have plenty of choices to choose from, and his goal will be to diversify those choices and show that some works can be not only started but also continued.
„I will not overestimate my chances. I think we have to put the decision in the hands of the Lithuanian people. They are our judges and the ones who give the verdict. And I will do my best to keep my election campaign low-key to concentrate on the work I am called to do,“ Nausėda said.
The President was also asked how he envisaged his work with the Seimas and the Government would change in the event of victory, as the promised unity and consensus had only sometimes been achieved.
„I think that for the first time in the history of independent Lithuania, an elected president had to work alternately with the two candidates who had lost the elections – first with Saulius Skvernelis and then with Ingrida Šimonyte. Depending on the personality and attitude towards what happened, this puts a particular stamp on things.
(...) As fate would have it, and as you already know today, we will be running again one of the candidates I know very well, the Prime Minister. We will see how we both fare this time.
But I would like to stick to the idea that sometimes political rivalry overshadows the possible consensus on essential things, but, despite that, we still have to strive for it,“ the President admitted.
The President was asked who would make up his team but wanted to wait to answer this question.
„The time will come, and you will get all the answers. You cannot expect me to start naming names immediately after I have announced my decision. But I can say one thing. It will be a compact team of people I trust, will not use the resources of the Presidency, and will not interfere with my direct duties,“ he assured.
Five political parties have announced their candidacy or endorsement for the presidential elections.
The Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats have nominated the candidate of Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, the Lithuanian State Peasants' and Greens' Union has selected the candidate of parliamentarian Aurelijus Veryga, and the Party of Regions of Lithuania will support the mayor of Kazlų Rūda, Mantas Varaška.
The Democratic Union In the Name of Lithuania has nominated Giedrimas Jeglinskas, former Deputy Minister of National Defence and Deputy Secretary General of NATO, and the Freedom Party has nominated Dainius Žalimas, former President of the Constitutional Court (KT).
Four self-nominated candidates are also known: Eduardas Vaitkus, a doctor; Valdas Tutkus, a former army commander; Ignas Vėgėlė, a lawyer; and Antanas Kandrotas, an activist who was convicted in court for fraud.
The presidential elections will take place on 12 May 2024.