Nausėda or Šimonytė: it was not a difficult choice for Vilnius residents who went to the polls

Some of the country's population is again heading to the polls, with early voting in the presidential elections starting on Tuesday and lasting three days. The second round of the presidential election will be between the two candidates with the most votes - incumbent President Gitanas Nausėda and Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

Debatai, prezidento rinkimai 2024, Valdovų rūmai, TV3, pirmasis turas Gitanas Nausėda, Ingrida Šimonytė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
Debatai, prezidento rinkimai 2024, Valdovų rūmai, TV3, pirmasis turas Gitanas Nausėda, Ingrida Šimonytė<br>T.Bauro nuotr.
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Lrytas.lt

May 21, 2024, 11:07 AM

From 21-23 May, from 7 am to 8 pm. to 8 pm, voters can cast their ballots at any early voting station in all 60 municipalities in Lithuania, regardless of where they have declared their residence.

Residents interviewed on Tuesday morning in the capital's Lukiškės Square, where one of the early voting stations is located, said they would like a much calmer next five years. While most of them have their favourites, some admitted that deciding who to vote for was not easy.

Criticism was not spared

Although a long queue formed in Lukiškės Square at around 7 am when the early voting started, after it had disappeared entirely—it was after about an hour straightforward and quick for Vilnius residents to express their will.

Aida, who met me at the polling station, commented that her favourite had made it through to the second round, so she didn't have to think about who to vote for.

"I remain faithful to my direction and always vote for the same party in all elections," she told lrytas. Lt.

In general, Aida said that she was positive about the first round's results —they did not surprise her too much.

"This is what we should have expected, that these two candidates would come out, and all the others, well... humour and all", she explained.

Asked what she hoped for in the next five years, she said that the country's life should not change, regardless of who the people elect.

"If the current President wins, I think there will not be huge changes, except in defence, because we are in such a dangerous zone. And if the Prime Minister wins, I don't think she will change her orientation either", Aida reflected.

For Danutė from Vilnius, it was not at all difficult to make up her mind at the ballot box.

"My life is set straight, and I am going straight", she said firmly when asked if she had found someone to vote for.

She was not surprised by the votes received by the other candidates who took part in the first round - according to Danutė, it was a personal decision of each voter, so she should not be surprised.

"Everyone should have considered who to vote for. I was not surprised. I didn't get distracted and decided firmly - we are not going sideways", she laughed.

However, when asked what changes she hoped to see after this presidential election, Danutė did not hide her troubles.

"First of all, all the injustice. It is beyond words. The current government is simply a mistake in the life of Lithuania. It is irritating to see the bickering, the waste of money where it is not needed.

I am curious to know how we would live if everyone thought economical terms. Since I have my firm, I know exactly where to put every penny. I am worried, but nowadays, everything is scattered. I feel both strange and painful for Lithuania", she said.

After the elections, she hopes for peace

Tadas was happy to go to the polling station a second time because he found the name of his favourite on the ballot paper.

"It was easy. Since I got in, I voted for her a second time," he said.

Although some people think this election's outcome is already clear, Tadas is convinced that the fight between the two candidates will be tough.

"You still have to vote for someone. As they say here, there is no favourite candidate - well, at least one, or out of the two, one or the other is better. There are no perfect candidates, so you vote for the one closest to you anyway," the Vilnius resident said.

When asked what he hoped for shortly after the elections, Tadas said he expected a calmness, as the last few years had been unpredictable.

"The last five years have been like no other. We jokingly say: "Do you remember what it was like before the war and the pandemic?" These are incomparable years. I hope it will be without the war. Any major shocks. Still, otherwise, I look forward to a better life," the Vilnius resident explained.

Dainius, who also voted in the morning, said it was easy to decide who he would like to nominate for the presidency.

"For stability. I think that the current President and his policies and contacts abroad and his work are sufficiently focused", he said.

However, the results of the first round of the elections surprised Dainius in two ways, and the votes of one candidate were quite disappointing.

"I had hoped that Ignas Vėgėlė might end up next to Nausėda in the second round, based on the speeches and the political experience of both candidates. Let's say I was a bit surprised in this sense.

I was surprised, but in an unpleasant way, by one of the candidates' high scores. Everyone understands what I am talking about. So, there were two surprises—one neutral and one unpleasant," he said.

However, for Inga from Vilnius, it was very difficult to decide who to vote for, as there was no favourite in the second round. She did not reveal who she voted for.

"For me, it is difficult. But the President is not very good in Lithuania, so I don't see much difference", she told lrytas. Lt.

In the first round of the elections, 43.95% of voters voted for Nausėda, while the Conservative candidate, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, won 20.05% of the votes two weeks ago.

According to the Chief Election Commission (VRK), from Tuesday to Thursday, voters in Vilnius will be able to cast their ballot at the Vilnius City Municipality building, 3 Constitution Avenue; the Vilnius University Business School, 22 Saulėtekio Avenue; Sakharov Square near the Press Palace; Lukiškės Square; and the Vilnius District Municipality building, 50 Rinktinės Street.

In Kaunas, voters wishing to vote in advance will be welcomed at the Kaunas City Municipality building (Laisvės al. 96) and Kaunas District Municipality building (Savanorių pr. 371).

In Klaipėda, voting will occur at the Klaipėda City Municipality building (Liepų str. 11) until Election Day.

Voters who cannot come to the polling stations for justified reasons will be allowed to vote at their places of residence.

Voting will be held from 22 to 24 May in hospitals, social care and welfare institutions, army units, and places of detention.

On 24 and 25 May, members of the electoral commissions will organise voting in voters' homes. Voters with disabilities, caregivers at home, people unable to work due to illness and voters aged 70 and over can vote at home.

Voting in Lithuanian diplomatic missions abroad is organised at the time set by each mission.

The primary day of the re-voting for the presidential election is Sunday, 26 May. Polling stations will open at 7 am and until 8 pm.

 

 

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