“I believe today’s announcement by Šimonytė was one of the reasons why Nausėda decided not to stand (for the primaries). If he received less support, it would be bad news for him and for potential voters,” Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, told BNS.
“This complicates election competition for Nausėda, because his electorate at least partially overlaps with that of Šimonytė,” he said.
Vilpišauskas thinks that diplomat Vygaudas Ušackas, who will run against Šimonytė in the conservative party’s primaries, will press ahead with his presidential bid even if he fails to secure his party’s support.
“Perhaps he decided to try to compete with Šimonytė and even if she gets more support in the primaries, he will remain in the presidential race,” he said.