VILNIUS – With Rolandas Paksas having been officially removed from the Presidential Palace for a little over 48 hours, prospective candidates for the nation's highest office have begun to timidly express interest in running.
The first contender to unofficially throw his hat in the ring was Paksas himself.
The impeached former president, who was released from a Vilnius hospital on Wednesday afternoon after receiving treatment for high blood pressure, received a de facto nomination from his Liberal Democratic party on Thursday.
Following a meeting of the party's leadership, party chairman Valentinas Mazuronis told reporters that the Liberal Democrats would encourage Paksas to run, but that the decision depended entirely on the former president himself.
MP Rolandas Pavilionis, one of Paksas' supporters, told reporters Tuesday that Paksas already had made plans to run in the new round of presidential elections, expected to be held in June.
In reaction to the news of Paksas' interest in seeking reelection to the post from which he was just removed, Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas said Thursday that he would consider running if Paksas were in the field of candidates.
Acting President Arturas Paulauskas says his decision on standing candidate in early presidential elections would depend on whether parties agree on single candidate with a good name in society and whether Rolandas Paksas would participate in the elections.
Brazauskas, who served as Lithuanian president from 1993 until 1998, said that the country's partners in Europe would have "trouble understanding" the reelection of a President who had just been impeached.