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Grybauskaite wins presidential elections

  • 2009-05-18
  • Adam Mullett

VILNIUS - Dalia Grybauskaite is set to become Lithuania's first female president after a landslide victory with almost 70 percent of the vote in her favor, early results from the Central Election Committee show.

51 percent of the registered electorate turned out for the vote in the first round -- enough that no second round is required to decide the winner.

Grybauskaite, the incumbent EU budget commissioner for financial programing and budget, had more than two-thirds of the vote with more than 85 percent of ballots counted.

Her closest rival, Algirdas Butkevicius, the leader of opposition Social Democrat Party, came second with 11.7 percent.

President Valdas Adamkus congratulated President-elect Dalia GrybauskaitÄ— on winning the presidential election.

"I am greatly delighted that the people of Lithuania demonstrated strong political will and elected the new president of Lithuania in the first round," Adamkus said.

President Adamkus further said that he and his team were ready to work together with the president-elect and her team to ensure a smooth handover of office.

Despite the majority win for the president-elect, who will take power on July 12, local media has been focusing on her sexuality and marital status.

Grybauskaite has worked as Minister of Finance and also worked in the Lithuanian embassy in the U.S.A. She holds a black belt in karate.

She has been EU budget commissioner since Nov. 24, 2004.