Lithuanian PM bids for presidency

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis (pictured above with German Chancellor Angela Merkel) has announced plans to run for president, saying that his election would lead to “more harmony” and “less intrigue” in the Baltic state.

Mr Skvernelis, 48, has been prime minister of Lithuania since December 2016. He has also served as the country’s interior minister and police commissioner general. “I will participate in the [May] election,” Mr Skvernelis said in a meeting with residents of Rusne, in southwestern Lithuania.

The prime minister will almost certainly receive the backing of the ruling centre-left Farmers and Greens Union.

Current president, Dalia Grybauskaite, will not be one of the ten candidates running in the upcoming elections as she has served the maximum two terms allowed under the constitution.

According to the Baltic Times, opinion polls currently show economist Gitanas Nauseda, an independent candidate, and former finance minister Ingrida Simonyte, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, as Mr Skvernelis’ main rivals.