Grybauskaite won Presidential seat, will Lithuania’s foreign policy change its direction?

May 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm 4 comments

According to the latest official results Ms Dalia Grybauskaite has won the elections for the Lithuania’s presidential post.  Some  69.08% voted for the EU Commissioner, the biggest ever support for a presidential candidate.  51.71% of all voters executed their constitutional right.  Those are preliminary results announced at 1200.  The final announcement should come on Sunday.

Butkevicius got 11.83%, Mazuronis 6.16%, Tomasevski 4.74%, Prunskiene 3.91%, Grauziniene 3.61%, Jezerskas 0.67% .

President Adamkus, the Speaker of the Parliament Valinskas and the PM Kubilius all congratulated the President in waiting.  It is still unclear who is going to work in Grybauskaite’s team.  A lecture of the Vilnius University Institute  of International Affairs and Political Science Mr V. Dumbliauskas stated to the Lietuvos Rytas paper that the members of her team are going to be fresh and young people without any political baggage.  He mentioned that four of his former students are invited in the team.

Another lecture from the same university Mr Janeliunas mentioned to the BNS that Grybauskaite’s entry into office would undoubtedly bring changes in terms of foreign policy.  Janeliunas told to the BNS that some attention from Eastern European countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova will be shifted to European Union’s (EU) heavyweights, which in his words will be one of the pivotal changes.  “She would look to Western European capitals for backing and then assess the feasibility of European integration among other quests. (…) Directions would shift in line with long-term priorities,” he said to the BNS on early Monday morning.

The BNS agency also quoted Director at the Centre for Eastern Geopolitical Studies Kasciunas who maintained a similar opinion.  “There are signs that point to Lithuania’s increased attention to deeper EU integration rather than full-fledged EU expansion to the East,” Kasciunas told BNS.

The BNS wrote that the political expert felt that Lithuania’s shift in this particular direction could result in the country adopting a more agreeable stance on Russia in line with the popularity of this trend in Western Europe. It is impossible to provision the benefits or lack thereof implicit in this change, said Kasciunas, noting that more thorough EU integration would undoubtedly be beneficial to the country in terms of energy, however cautioning that integration to EU’s military structures could be more detrimental.

However, these are only predictions and assumptions based on Grybauskaites statements.  However, these questions were not really answered during the election campaign.  Hence, the predictions above remain only such.


Entry filed under: Azerbaijan, Baltic States, Estonia, EU, Georgia, Grybauskaite, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Poland, Politics, Russia, Scandinavia, Sweden, Ukraine.

Unofficially Ms Grybauskaite has won the Lithuania’s Presidential elections Biography of Lithuania’s president-elect Grybauskaite

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lietutis  |  May 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    It’s very interesting the fact that Grybauskaite is the second Lithuanian president to be elected without a party, after USSR. Do you think it might become a tendency?

    And only 51.71% of voters is quite few, huh. It makes me think that Lithuanians are, somehow, disbelieves in their politics and parties. But as I don’t accompany Lithuanian politic everyday, I feel no rights to believe in that.

    Anyway, you have a nice blog about Lithuania, and I hope to come visit more frequently.
    Regards from São Paulo, Brazil.

  • 2. Ruslanas Iržikevičius  |  May 18, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Lietutis,

    According to the LT Constitution the President cannot belong to any political party. He or she has to resign any political posts in a political party if he or she gets elected as a President.

    Yes, the Lithuanian voters are very tired with the politics since the Lithuanian political establishment tend to disappoint its voters every time they are getting elected into the parliament. But this is more or less the same in all around the world. But this is democracy, the best humans invented so far.

    If this will become a tendency is very difficult to know. The next Presidential elections will be held in five years and many things might change by then. However, as the things stand now the Lithuanian political establishment did not manage to produce a politician who could compete with outsider Ms Grybauskaite.

    51% is normal attendance in Lithuanian elections, in the last parliamentary elections six months ago only 49% turned up.

    Thank you for reading the blog.

    Best regards,

  • […] idea send to Brussels the acting Finance Minister Semeta.  The minister who just today survived a vote of non-confidence in the Parliament said that he did not have time to think about it.  The Member of the European […]

  • 4. Sarkozy invited Grybauskaite to France « Lituanica  |  May 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    […] of the political scientists predict that Lithuania’s foreign policy will change by diverting some of its focus from the Easter partners to the Western Europe.  The so-called […]


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