EU budget chief claims win in Lithuanian presidential elections

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dalia Grybauskaite

Dalia Grybauskaite, the budget commissioner for the European Union, has claimed victory in the Lithuanian presidential elections. She received 68 percent of the vote after 96 percent of the ballots were tallied.

Second place was taken by the Social Democrats' Algirdas Butkevicius, who took about 12% of the vote.

"I am grateful for the responsibility invested in me," Grybauskaite said following the first round of voting on Sunday.

Turnout in the elections was reported at slightly more than fifty percent. A candidate must win at least half the vote in order to avoid a run-off election if the turnout is over 50%. With voter turnout at less than 50%, a candidate needs at least 33% support from all persons eligible to cast a ballot.

If the results are confirmed, Ms Grybauskaite would become the first ever female president of Lithuania.

"I congratulate the Lithuanian people for their choice," she said at her election headquarters. "The taste of victory is the burden of responsibility."