“For now, it seems that such defense tactic will not help shore up voters’ confidence, but we will see this very soon,” Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, told BNS in a comment on Masiulis’ statement that the cash he is suspected of having taken as a bribe was a loan.
“Masiulis’ motives cited by the prosecutors appear to be the weakest point in their argumentation. On the other hand, the weakest point of the defense is the explanation that (Masiulis) took cash because of urgency,” Vilpišauskas said.
“Many people will find if difficult to believe that a person who had been active in politics for such a long time and was tipped as a prime minister could behave in such a way out of thoughtlessness and haste,” he added.
In the analyst’s words, the key question in the run-up to the Oct. 9 general elections is how many existing or potential voters of the Liberal Movement will believe that this is Masiulis’ personal problem that “has nothing to do with the party or issues more serious than just recklessness”.