Party Chairwoman Vilija Blinkevičiūtė announced this at the Social Democrats' conference in Vilnius on Saturday.
„Having assessed the importance of this year's elections and to mobilise the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania in the face of global challenges, I invite and recommend supporting the candidacy of President Nausėda in the forthcoming presidential elections.
I am convinced that this decision is the best for Lithuania, for the Lithuanian people and the Social Democrats to achieve a safer and more socially just state,“ V. Blinkevičiūtė revealed her decision during her speech.
Regarding why she would not participate in the presidential elections, V. Blinkevičiūtė listed several challenges for Lithuania. The first, according to the leader of the Social Democrats, is that Lithuania has reached a „serious dead end“.
„The confusion and strife, the tensions and divisions between the branches of Government – the President, the ruling majority in the Seimas and the Government – have reached their peak. There is no reason to believe that the situation will improve shortly.
Some people are justifiably frustrated with the arrogant, inefficient, constantly distracted ruling majority. This shows that the ruling right (conservative party-editorial note) can no longer solve the accumulated problems and that it does not have and cannot find consensus on a clear political direction. All this reduces the state's ability to react quickly to the changing international environment and the pain of our country's population,“ said Ms Blinkevičiūtė.
In addition, according to the politician, the international situation also poses new challenges, which, in her opinion, further complicates the possibilities of securing the support of the European Union and other democratic countries for Ukraine.
According to Ms Blinkevičiūtė, the outcome of the 2024 US presidential elections may also dictate new security challenges for Lithuania and Europe. Therefore, the political mobilisation of forces in the country is necessary.
Finally, Ms Blinkevičiūtė stated that the future presidential and parliamentary elections, the change of the executive and the composition of the European Parliament will determine the direction Lithuania and Europe will take.
„The central constitutional powers of the Head of state, the President, are concentrated on defence and foreign policy. President Nausėda's leadership on the German Brigade issue and during the NATO Summit, as well as his diplomacy in the face of war, inspires confidence.
The President's consistent performance has counterbalanced the mistakes and distractions of the current ruling majority in foreign and defence policy.
The President's action on the latter issues would be even more effective if he had the support of a parliamentary majority. Both the President and the new Seimas elections are aimed at a result that would ensure practical cooperation between the new ruling majority and the President,“ explained Ms Blinkevičiūtė.
Ingrida Šimonytė, the Prime Minister, who is being nominated by the conservatives; Gitanas Nausėda, the current Head of the country; Ignas Vėgėlė, a lawyer; Aurelijus Veryga, a representative of the Lithuanian Peasants and the Green Party, and a member of the Lithuanian Seimas, have all announced their candidacy for the Presidency.
The Party of Freedom is also fielding a candidate in the form of lawyer Dainius Žalimas, and the Democratic Union Vardan Lietuvos (In the Name of Lithuania) is fielding a candidate in the form of Giedrimas Jeglinskis.
The Labour Party is fielding Andrius Mazuronis, and Remigijus Žemaitaitis plans to run with his party. At the same time, the Party of Regions has announced that it will not support the mayor of Kazlų Rūda, Mantas Varaška, in the presidential elections and will not run its candidate.
The Liberal Movement will not run a candidate in the presidential elections.