“I believe the Liberal Movement’s political group should be definitely bigger (…) than before,” Šimašius told journalists at the Vilnius municipality on Wednesday.
The mayor said he prioritized the most promising politicians of the Liberal Movement who would best represent liberal values and be good members of the Seimas.
The party’s perspective of making a good showing in the Oct. 9 parliamentary elections was strongly undermined by the bribery charges against the party’s earlier leader Eligijus Masiulis. Lithuanian prosecutors suspect him of taking a bribe of 106,000 euros from Raimondas Kurlianskis, the vice-president of one of Lithuania’s largest business groups MG Baltic, “for certain decisions favorable and financially beneficial for the concern.”
Searches of Masiulis’ Vilnius home in May revealed a total of 250,000 euros in cash, therefore, he faces suspicions of bribery, peddling influence and unlawful enrichment.
Speaking about the effect of the investigation on the Liberal Movement’s success in the election, Šimašius said he expected voters’ understanding and forgiveness.
He said the Liberals would consider a ruling coalition with the parties that speak for lower taxes and defense of human rights.
Nevertheless, Šimašius said conduct and negotiating positions would be considered after the election.