Behind-the-scenes game-changing political deal: Vėgėlė and Karbauskis's plan becomes clear

Behind the scenes of politics, there is more and more talk about the plan developed by the Lithuanian Peasants' and Greens' Union (LVŽS) for the presidential elections. The Peasants are considering not to nominate their candidate Aurelijus Veryga, even though he has already collected and submitted the necessary signatures, and instead to support the candidacy of one of the leaders, lawyer Ignas Vėgėlė.

R. Karbauskis, I. Vėgėlė bei A. Veryga.<br> koliažas
R. Karbauskis, I. Vėgėlė bei A. Veryga.<br> koliažas
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Mar 29, 2024, 3:29 PM, atnaujinta Mar 29, 2024, 3:31 PM

Vėgėlė was speaking to the portal, and did not hide the fact that he has discussed the prospects of future cooperation with Veryga and LVŽS Chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis, discussed the programme provisions, and would be satisfied with the Peasants' decision.

On Wednesday, a photo of a meeting between Veryga and Vėgėlė circulated on social networks. Both presidential candidates shared it. LVŽS also issued a press release about the meeting.

„Aurelijus Veryga and I share the same views on many value issues. Why did we meet? I am talking with all politicians with whom we share a similar vision of the country's problems and offer similar solutions,“ wrote Vėgėlė.

„We are united not only by our values and the similarity of the presidential election programme but also by our views on the direction in which Lithuanian and European Union politicians should work,“ wrote Veryga.

This meeting between them and its publicity seemed strange to many, as both politicians are rivals in the presidential elections.

However, it has been discussed behind the scenes for some time that the Peasants are preparing for a runoff – to enter Veryga, who has practically no chance of winning the presidential elections, as a candidate for the European Parliament (EP) elections and to support Vėgėlė, in the election for the Head of State.

Even earlier, before LVŽS announced its candidate, it was speculated that the Peasants would not run their candidate and would support similar values and lightning-famous Vėgėlė in the elections. However, no agreement could be reached then.

„On Wednesday, Veryga and I talked about matching the programme. The logic was to see what possible future cooperation could be. We sat on the programme for an hour and a half, going through domestic and foreign affairs,“ Vėgėlė told lrytas. lt on Friday.

„By the way, I am now hearing from journalists that the Peasants are going to support me in the presidential elections. It would be good news, very pleasant,“ he said.

Vėgėlė said that on Wednesday, he had not discussed with Veryga the possibility of the Peasants not running their own candidate and supporting him, although he said that such a decision by the LVŽS would be rational.

„Certainly, at that time, Veryga was still a candidate. And now he still is. It is difficult to say whether such a decision will be made. I think it would be rational for LVŽS“, the lawyer stressed.

It is said that Karbauskis is trying to entice Vėgėlė to run with LVŽS in the autumn parliamentary elections if he is unsuccessful in the presidential elections. The leader of the Peasants' Party had already used this tactic in 2016 when he lured the then-very popular Saulius Skvernelis to the list, even though he was not a party member.

By the way, it was Skvernelis who was the first to speak publicly about the fact that Karbauskis may have decided to swap Veryga for Vėgėlė.

„I would not be surprised if Mr Veryga was pushed into the European Parliament and Mr Vėgėlė suddenly became the presidential candidate of the LVŽS party. I would not rule out such a possibility. The gently released message on Facebook suggests the same thing,“ Skvernelis told Žinių Radijas on Friday.

„I know the situation of my former colleagues very well. I think that there is one more figure missing from that photo who is in the shadows, and that is Mr Karbauskis. It seems that there is a checker on the board of the great checker of politics that needs to be pushed,“ the politician remarked.

Asked whether the conversation with Veryga about the prospects for future cooperation meant that parliamentary elections were already on the table, Vėgėlė denied this.

„I am talking about what will happen if the Peasants achieve their goals and expectations, and Vėgėlė achieves his goals and expectations. I expect to become President, and the Peasants expect to win the EP and Seimas elections. We need to think about that. Time is running out fast,“ commented the lawyer.

Veryga, who spoke to lrytas. lt, said that during his conversation with Vėgėlė, he realised that the two are very similar and that he would see him in the ranks of the LVŽS: „Why not? If he were to fail in the presidential election, I would certainly see the sense in finding common points of contact.“

Vėgėlė pointed out that he is talking to all the opposition parties, except the Social Democrats, and to non-parliamentary political forces, which could become parliamentary.

„I am being joined by a third different party, completely unlike the current President Nausėda, who is being joined by a single-minded force – the same party, split into two groups,“ the lawyer explained.

The Christian Union and Freedom and Justice have already supported him in the elections.

The presidential elections will take place in May this year.

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