ELECTIONS. Valatka on “Peasant” voters – confusion with last names is a tendency

Rimvydas Valatka
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

To imagine that journalist Rita Miliūtė could run for Seimas alongside Ramūnas Karbauskis would likely require a fall on the head from a height of two metres. Such is the evaluation of political analyst Rimvydas Valatka expressed in an interview with LRT Radio. Meanwhile the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LVŽS) leader R. Karbauskis assures that the rise of Rūta Miliūtė in their electoral roll due to priority votes is a coincidence and will definitely not be for the worse.

Believes it is a coincidence

Rūta Miliūtė rising from 141st to 28th in the LVŽS electoral roll is a coincidence believes party chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis. He noted that he knew that, for example, Egidijus Vareikis will rise from 141st place, stating that “He is well known in Lithuania, having overcome certain problems. He has become an example of healthy and sober lifestyle for many.”

R. Karbauskis assures that he never considered one or another surname could help in elections, it simply happened to occur. When asked whether R. Miliūtė will work in Seimas, he refused to comment in place of the candidate. “They will decide themselves, same for number 28. I believe that there will be more of us, perhaps 45. Everyone who is not elected in the single-mandate districts will make an individual decision,” explained the politician.

R. Miliūtė has been actively participating in work at the Kaunas headquarters according to the LVŽS leader. “We have been assisted by many youths, I believe that this is voting from young people. Today after all we have social media, interactions between one another. We were very supportive of individual campaigning, wherever that may be, single or multi-mandate districts,” he said.

According to Karbauskis there were no issues with including individuals who worked actively in headquarters or the campaign in general into the electoral roll. We have 30-40 young people in our list who are under 30. Most of them were not at the top of the list because they are less known and lack the necessary experience. But if a few young individuals enter Seimas, it will not be for the worse,” Karbauskis is convinced. Youth, according to the politician, have to feel that their contemporaries can enter Seimas and form Lithuanian policy.

Apologises for not running

Lithuanian National Radio and Television journalist Rita Miliūtė noted that it should not be her that is asked how she reacted to the situation, but the candidate who bears the same last name, Rūta Miliūtė, stating that “We should ask her, just how does she feel when the party leader calls a person “that number 28”. I would like to believe that she has earned an excellent opportunity to work for the benefit of Lithuania. I would like to believe that she will not shame our last name.”

The veteran journalist wishes to believe that the LVŽS member entered Seimas due to many friends and acquantances. “I believe that any person included into a list of candidates has to be, as A. Butkevičius would say, prepared to work in Seimas. I sincerely wish for Rūta Miliūtė to have the desire and opportunities to prove that she did not enter Seimas by accident,” said the Rita Miliūtė.

When asked what this means about voters, when they vote for a journalist who isn’t running for office, Miliūtė explains that she cannot explain where they come from “But it is clear that they do appear. It becomes funny because I should probably apologise to those who are thinking they are voting for me. I am sorry, but I have not raised a candidacy. But I shouldn’t have to apologise to voters who voted, but did not know who for.”

Not surprised by the ineptitude of voters

Political analyst Rimvydas Valatka has a few things to say about voters who believe that Rita Miliūtė could run with R. Karbauskis: “In my village they spoke of people like that – heard somewhere when bells rang, but neither know where they ran, nor who rang them. To imagine that R. Miliūtė would run for Seimas with R. Karbauskis you would have needed at least a two meter fall on your head into a basement.”

But such a situation does not surprise Valatka because many LVŽS voters are likely former Labour Party voters, a part – Social Democrat voters. The analyst has few illusions, stating that “There are plenty voters like this. If not for them, a party like R. Karbauskis’ would not even have passed the 5% barrier.”

Commenting on Karbauskis’ statement, Valatka stresses that the politician started from a logics mistake and called a tendency a coincidence. Valatka finds the whole situation particularly “logical”, but it will be necessary to suffer for such “logics” for four years. But he does not believe that Rūta Miliūtė, who is set to receive a mandate should refuse it. “Why should you refuse it? I believe that she could be even better than individuals like Dainius Kepenis, who finds remnants of aborts or ape body parts in vaccinations,” said the analyst.

He sees little reason to worry over this. “After all the history of the past few Seimas terms shows that the majority of those entering make no sound, nor sight. If we remember the High Council, its members were known across Lithuania. Of the current Seimas, probably only fraction leaders would be recognised,” mused Valatka.

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