Vytautas Grubliauskas, incumbent mayor of Lithuania’s western port of Klaipeda, will be challenged by Klaipeda Port CEO Arvydas Vaitkus, representing the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, in the run-off, according to preliminary results from all 54 polling districts.
Grubliauskas received 31.15% of votes, and Vaitkus was backed by 22.82%. Agne Bilotaite, representing the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, came in third with 14.73%, according to the Central Electoral Commission.
Nominated by the Liberal Movement, Simonas Gentvilas was fourth with 8%.
Grubliauskas’ public election committee, “Vytautas Grubliauskas and the Team”, secured nine seats on the Klaipeda Council, the LFGU will have seven, the HU-LCD got six, and the Liberal Movement and the Center Party won three seats each.
The council will also include Viaceslav Titov who renounced his councilor’s mandate last year after facing the prospect of impeachment. His election committee secured to mandates.
A Lithuanian court ruled last year that Titov breached his oath when he falsely accused Lithuanian partisan commander Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas of killing innocent civilians.
All coalitions possible, excluding Titov.
“I’m glad that Klaipeda residents resisted that populist temptation and appreciated that work done, opened their eyes to what is going on in the city. I would evaluate those aspects positively,” Grubliauskas told.
The Klaipeda mayor says his committee is ready to form coalitions with everyone, expect for the committee lead by controversial Titov.
Grubliauskas’ main rival Vaitkus says he’s also satisfied with the election result. “Having in mind that our group of people was formed in a short period of time, so the results are very good,” Vaitkus told.
According to Vaitkus, he has always had good communication with Grubliauskas but, he said, the government is too distant from people.
“People are telling me that today’s government is too distant from people, failing to see the most sensitive areas of life. Our view is that the situation needs to change and we need to focus on people once again,” he said.
The election in Klaipeda was characterized by very low turnout, standing at only 38.66 percent.