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Lithuania: Nauseda says early parlt election possible after PM Skvernelis resigns

VILNIUS – An early general election is a possible but not very likely scenario once Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis resigns, economist Gitanas Nauseda says after receiving the most votes in the first round of presidential voting on Sunday.

In his words, following Skvernelis' resignation, the same ruling majority could continue working with a new prime minister. Also, a minority government or a technocrat government could be formed.

"I believe we have a situation with a lot of alternatives here," Nauseda told journalists in Vilnius on Monday. "The same ruling majority with a new prime minister is possible. A minority government is possible. A technocrat government is possible. (…) And, well, the least likely possibility, which cannot be ruled out, is an early general election."

Nevertheless, the presidential hopeful said that if the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union scores well during the upcoming European Parliament election in May, nothing might change.

Preliminary figures show Nauseda got into the presidential runoff where he will face MP Ingrida Simonyte, representing the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

Nauseda believes a non-party president has an advantage when seeking compromises.

"That party independence lets you invite representatives of different political parties to one table and they have more trust and less of prejudice," the candidate said.

Nauseda also added that his experience would allow coordinating economic and social issues better.

Figures from 1,778 out of 1,972 polling districts show Nauseda received over 31 percent of votes during the first round of voting on Sunday, and Simonyte was backed by over 28 percent of voters.

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