Social Democrats take a beating
It is rather unusual when a severely ill politician takes up candidacy to Seimas, this has generated a great deal of debate and attention. As unexpected as it may be, the Minister of Healthcare (Juras Požėla), who himself has been at hospital for over a month and a half, came in second with a sizable number of votes in Antakalnis district after Ingrida Šimonytė of TS-LKD (Homeland Union). Šimonytė won by a landslide victory, but nevertheless minister J. Požela entered Seimas through the Social Democrat vote in the multi-mandate district.
This year’s elections have not gone well for the LSDP. Even the party leader, PM Algirdas Butkevičius just barely passed his opponent in the Vilkaviškis district, Kęstutis Smirnovas, a representative of the LVŽS (Peasants and Green Union). Having sailed to a confident victory last election, Butkevičius earned only a little over 36% of the vote in the district.
Similarly, party veteran and Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas fared poorly. He was defeated almost twofold in the Sūduva district, also by a member of the LVŽS.
Settling old accounts
The Old Town district witnessed a showdown of old rivals, with former mayor Artūras Zuokas of the Lithuanian Freedom Union facing off against TS-LKD mayoral candidate Mykolas Majauskas. Having failed to take the post of mayor earlier, Majauskas took a landslide victory with 40% of the vote. Perhaps next municipal elections will be better for him.
The former mayor of Kaunas was defeated by a teacher. Former Kaunas mayor Andrius Kupčinskas had to concede to Aušra Papirtienė in the Kalniečiai district. Papirtienė is a teacher at the Kaunas March 11th Gymnasium and member of the LVŽS.
Lithuanian sports celebrity and veteran Virgilijus Alekna is well liked by Lithuanians, but voters did not trust him with authority in the vote, with TS-LKD member Žygimantas Pavilionis taking almost 50% of the vote in the Vilnius Naujamiestis district.
One of the most famous Lithuanian economists Aušra Maldeikinė received support from voters in her bid to enter Seimas, but not enough for a first round victory. TS-LKD veteran Vilija Aleknaitė Abramikienė was only several percent behind, leading to a showdown in the second round.
The controversial independent candidate Algirdas Paleckis surprised even his biggest sceptics, taking first place in his district and taking TS-LKD member, executive secretary Monika Navickienė to the second round.
Voters in Aukštaitija withdrew support from former Minister of National Defence, Rasa Juknevičienė of TS-LKD, opting to support Guoda Burokienė, a member of the LVŽS working in the Lithuanian Rural Community Union.
Another surprise came in the form of Vytautas Kernagis Jr., the son of the late Vytautas Kernagis, who opted to enter politics just last year. Entering the elections with the TS-LKD he earned a little over 30% of the vote. Second place was taken by Liberal Movement member Dalia Kuodytė.