Plans leak on how the Conservatives could defeat the “Farmers”: what is to be done in public and what in secret

Gabrielius Landsbergis and Ramūnas Karbauskis
DELFI montažas

The Conservatives have been offered to use Antanas Guoga as a black horse in the elections, establish links to Naglis Puteikis and Kristupas Krivickasparty and non-publically back Remigijus Šimašius and Aušrinė Armonaitė.

Such measures are presented in the internal circulation document “Recommended Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrat political and electoral strategy guidelines.”

It is outlined that the analysis was prepared based on survey data presented to the TS-LKD, analyst recommendations and insights from international partners.

Full force public struggle against the “Farmers”

The strategy guideline proposes four strategic communications measures in order to reach goals.

From November this year, it is proposed for the Conservatives to begin a medium intensity advertising campaign intended to present the TS-LKD vision and proposals for Lithuania – What a TS-LKD government would do better than a “Farmer” government? It is suggested that the campaign could have regional presentations and be supported through a radio campaign and internet means.

It is proposed to initiate a guerrilla advertising campaign #StabdauNesąžiningumą [#StoppingInjustice], which would portray the current government and its leaders’ corrupt leanings and lack of transparency.

The proposals outline how from mid-September, a low intensity internet and social media advertising campaign could be launched, which according to the document “would pose justified questions over the opaque circumstances of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis home building, Ramūnas Karbauskis‘ oligarchic influence in employing the tools of the Agrokoncernas company, reminding of the land, fertiliser and declaration stories, Artūras Skardžius‘ impeachment-worthy episodes, which were stopped as if with a bulldozer by Agnė Širinskienė.”

In single mandate districts won by the LVŽS, it is proposed to initiate the regional campaign “Who does your MP work for?” through news media and social media, seeking to portray how LVŽS single mandate elects do not represent the people of their area. It is proposed to actively emphasise illogic points in tax reform and insufficient support for socially sensitive groups, show how R. Karbauskis and his business profit from the system.

In order to “stop R. Karbauskis’ efforts to influence independent news media and the Central Electoral Commission“, it is recommended to call upon the Venice Commission and European Commission on the circumstances of democracy in Lithuania. Such an initiative could apparently be supported by an online petition, which would feature 50 thousand signatures gathered across the country.

Aim to win all elections

The document raises five strategic goals: win the September 16 repeat Seimas elections in Šakiai, the municipal, European Parliament elections and have the TS-LKD backed candidate win the presidential elections, as well as taking first place in the Seimas elections.

The document forecasts that in 2020 the TS-LKD could obtain 46-48 mandates, the LVŽS – 24-32, the Social Democrat Party and N. Puteikis and K. Krivickas’ coalition – 10-19 mandates each, A. Guoga’s movement Thriving Lithuania – 12-22 mandates, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – 3 mandates and independents – 8-10 mandates.

The document specifies that Visvaldas Matijošaitis‘ entry into national politics is not expected. However, it is not dismissed that there is possibility for other politicians in Vieningas Kaunas [Kaunas United] entering national politics, such as Kaunas Vice Mayor Povilas Mačiulis. The strategists believe that the more conservative members of Vieningas Kaunas will participate in the elections alongside the LVŽS, while the younger, more liberal members could side with A. Guoga’s movement.

Mentions of a new movement rising in Vilnius

The document also presents party analysis. In terms of the Liberal Movement, it is noted that it is paralysed by not only ongoing legal processes and negative publicity related to the court proceedings, but also how it is very close to complete disintegration because even the remaining main leaders cannot agree on continued strategy.

“Vilnius Mayor R. Šimašius and MP A. Armonaitė reforming the mayor’s team and gathering more individuals in it, who are familiar with political communication, such as philosopher, electoral consultant Mindaugas Kubilius, social network opinion leader Ričardas Savukynas and others, are using the administrative resources of the Vilnius municipality to assemble a new civic movement – an upcoming electoral committee in Vilnius,” the document writes.

Based on it, R. Šimašius, seeking to distance himself from the suspicions on the Liberal Movement, intends to run in the upcoming municipal elections independently from the party and if successful – use and transfer the created organisational infrastructure of the committee to the national liberal movement led by A. Armonaitė. Analogously, Vitalijus Gailius is apparently considering the possibility to create committees for the upcoming municipal elections in Joniškis and Pakruojis.

Based on the document, disagreements over the future are also ripping apart one of the largest and most influential, the Klaipėda branch, where party leader Eugenijus Gentvilas‘ son Simonas has posed a challenge in the internal elections of the Liberals over running for Klaipėda mayor.

Kirkilas predicted a future in the European Parliament

The document explains that the Social Democrat Labour Party (LSDDP), lacking new faces and ideas is “in essence holding at the 4% support mark due to inertia.” In perspective, they will apparently seek to stand by two strategies.

The authors believe that in the municipal race, they will make informal agreements with electoral committees (R. Malinauskas‘ in Druskininkai, V. Simulikas‘ in Šiauliai, V. Dačkauskas‘ in Klaipėda region, Ž. Pinskuvienė‘s in Širvintos), also, in return for support for the cabinet, they will seek cooperation with the LVŽS.

“It is likely that the LSDDP will organise a joint electoral roll for the European Parliament elections, seeking an MEP mandate for Gediminas Kirkilas. In return, the party will support Saulius Skvernelis’ bid for president. If this strategy proves fruitful, the LSDDP and LVŽS coalition could be used in the 2020 Seimas elections as well,” the document states.

No easy victory promised

The document explains that the LVŽS remains and will continue to remain a significant political future for the near future, but “being in power and in many regards taking radical positions (…) and encouraging inter-party conflicts, the LVŽS has lost the capacity to be an alternative, non-polarised political power that can appeal to most of the electorate as a second choice, which allowed them to win in the second round of the single mandate districts in 2016.”

The strategists assure that they “have less negative perception than the LVŽS, but this is not enough to guarantee success in the nearing elections.”

About Dalia Plikune 52 Articles
Žurnaliste dirbu nuo 2006 metų. Rašau vidaus ir užsienio politikos temomis. Savo darbe siekiu paprasto tikslo būti efektyvia reportere, o tai reiškia būti patikimu informacijos šaltiniu savo auditorijai. Kaip yra sakęs buvęs ilgametis BBC žurnalistas ir redaktorius Alexas Kirby, iš kurio turėjau galimybę mokytis – geras žurnalistas yra dvejojantis optimistas ir viltingas skeptikas. Stengiuosi tokia išlikti. Dirbau korespondente naujienų agentūroje ELTA, dvejus metus rašiau Lietuvos žiniasklaidai iš Paryžiaus ir Briuselio, stažavausi prancūzų dienraštyje "La Croix". Esu baigusi Vilniaus universiteto Tarptautinės komunikacijos magistro studijas.
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