Nausėda's non–coincidental tactics, what tripped up Vėgėlė and Žemaitaitis exceeding expectations: political analysts assess the elections

The results of Sunday's first round of presidential elections did not surprise political analysts. According to them, the intrigue about who would qualify for the second round started to fade after Ignas Vėgėlė's poor performance during the debates.

Gitanas Nausėda.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Gitanas Nausėda.<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

May 13, 2024, 1:04 PM, atnaujinta May 13, 2024, 1:06 PM

According to political analyst Gabrielė Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, the attacks of Gitanas Nausėda, who is running for a second term, may have tripped up Vėgėlė.

„The intrigue began to fade when the debate got underway. We must admit that he did not perform very well in the debates“, Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili told Elta.

„In the competitive battle, he could not resist the 'trolling' arrows, especially from the President. This was very evident from a consistent observation of the whole debate“, she added.

According to her, Nausėda's choice of such tactics was probably not accidental. Ms Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili stressed that Mr Vėgėlė had reacted inappropriately to the attacks on the incumbent President in almost every debate.

„If we look consistently, Nausėda paid very little attention to Šimonytė and the confrontation with her. Almost from the very first debate, everything was focused on Mr Vėgėlė. Here, he lacked experience. This was already the case in the very first debate, which means that something could have been changed in consultation with the PR specialists, but it hasn't changed,“ she stressed.

Kalpokas was not surprised by the candidates' rocking the boat: he thinks that Vėgėlė will continue on his political career path

Ignas Kalpokas, associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University (VDU) and political scientist, says that the results of the first round and the candidates' votes did not surprise him. However, he notes that Remigijus Žemaitaitis, an ex-parliamentarian and leader of the Nemunas Dawn party, exceeded the expectations of many.

„Indeed, the ranking itself may not have been entirely surprising, but I have to join others who say that, nevertheless, Remigijus Žemaitaitis' performance has certainly surpassed (expectations – ELTA) – at least so far,“ Kalpokas told LRT television.

At the same time, assessing the result of the Freedom Party's candidate, Dainius Žalimas, Kalpokas said he believed that the former Head of the Constitutional Court (KT) had failed to mobilise the electorate of the political force that nominated him.

„However, I don't know whether Dainius Žalimas managed to activate the party's rather young and dynamic electorate. On the other hand, there is the classic problem of strategic voting: if you like one candidate, but there is another, more popular one who you also like to some extent, you will probably vote for the more popular one – to prevent Vėgėlė or Žemaitaitis in this case,“ he mused.

Asked about the future political plans of the third-placed lawyer Ignas Vėgėlė, the VDU associate professor said that he believes that the lawyer will not finish his career after turning to politics.

„When I looked at the way he communicated, (...) he repeated for a long time that first, he did not know (whether he would run – ELTA), then he did not see much of a chance not to run for office. And in the end, he did“, said Kalpokas.

„The situation here will be very similar in how the candidate, at least publicly, exudes optimism and does not want to admit any of his mistakes – he will probably want to show his infallibility once again,“ he summarised.

ELTA recalls that the presidential elections and the referendum on retaining citizenship occurred on Sunday. 59.37% of citizens went to the polls to vote in the election of the country's leader.

Eight candidates were contested for the post of the country's head of state: Nausėda, seeking a second term in office, and Prime Minister Šimonytė, who is being nominated by the Conservatives; Giedrimas Jeglinskas, the candidate of the Democratic Union In the Name of Lithuania; Freedom Party representative, former Head of the Constitutional Court Žalimas, leader of the Labour Party Andrius Mazuronis, lawyer Vėgėlė, doctor Eduardas Vaitkus and ex-parliamentarian Remigijus Žemaitaitis.

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