Usackas pulls out of presidential race

  • 2009-02-17
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

Photo courtesy Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

VILNIUS- Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas has officially said he will notrun for president. After having been named as a potential candidate, Usackassaid he had thought it over and decided to withdraw his name.

"I think I could best apply my experience continuing mycurrent line of activity", the minister told news portal.

Friends, acquaintances and citizens had encouraged him to run for president andoffered their support, said Usackas.

"However, I think that the experience I accumulated over the almost 20years of diplomatic service in Brussels, Washington D.C. and London will bemost useful during this economic downfall and political unpredictabilityserving the duty I have been appointed to serve", the minister said.

Usackas did not rule out the possibility of running for the presidential postin the future, saying that he would talk about that when the time comes.

The Homeland Union - Lithuanian ChristianDemocrat Party, who nominated Usackas for his post as Foreign Minister,  has more potential candidates for president tochoose from. Party Chair Andrius Kubilius has said he will back EuropeanCommissioner Dalia Grybauskaite's candidacy in the event that she plans to run.The Christian half of the party has proposed to back its Honorary Chairman,Member of European Parliament Vytautas Landsbergis. MEP Laima Andrikiene hasalso mentioned plans to run in the elections.

The first round of Lithuania'spresidential elections will be held on May 17, with the second one to be heldsimultaneously with the elections for European Parliament (EP) on June 7.