Lithuanian president calls for active voting in EP election to counterbalance extremists

  • 2024-06-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has urged people to actively vote in the European Parliament election to fight back against extremist forces.

As observers and analysts predict a lower voter turnout, the president says this election is as important as the presidential and general elections.

"The future of not only Lithuania, but that of Europe as a whole will depend on it," Nauseda told reporters on Tuesday in Lukiskes Square in central Vilnius after he cast his vote early on Tuesday.

"It is especially important in these times when various extremist political forces are emerging, when Russian narratives are sometimes very smoothly enter Western democracies."

"It is important to fight back, to build truly resilient Western democratic societies," he added.

The president has previously voiced his support for Ursula von der Leyen as a candidate to lead the European Commission.

The president did not disclose which party he voted for in Lithuania. 

"You want me to answer your question?" the president. "In this case, I cannot o any campaigning."

He said he could vote "based on my conscience" because he was not affiliated to any political party.

"First, I looked at the list, then I looked at which party or party representatives could represent Lithuania properly, effectively and, most importantly, with the right experience. There are a number of such parties, I chose one and gave it my vote," Nauseda said.

The three-day early voting in the EP election started on Tuesday.

Voters can vote at any early voting site in all 60 municipalities in Lithuania, regardless of where they declare their place of residence.

Lithuania is electing 11 MEPs, with 14 parties and one coalition list vying for seats.