According to Grybauskaitė, mayors are elected directly in many European countries, but Lithuania switched to direct mayoral elections without changing the post’s functions and powers. Therefore, voters have limited possibilities to demand responsibility from the mayors they will elect.
“We will learn from our experience. Laws may have to be amended in the future undoubtedly. Something might need adapting and perhaps more radically as the changes were made without amending the Constitution. Perhaps that is why the reform is incomplete,” Grybauskaitė told the weekly Veidas.
Direct mayoral elections will take place on 1 March 2015 together with municipal elections. The president said that people will have to learn to distinguish between those who are worthy to become mayors and those who are not.
“Without a doubt there will be good mayors elected as well as populists or completely odd ones, but nothing can be done about it. We must open elections, especially self-government elections, for the people to decide. However, people have to learn to elect directly,” said Grybauskaitė.