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Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 17:18 UK

Lithuania's new leader: Your views

Lithuanians have elected Dalia Grybauskaite as the country's first female president.

Below are a selection of Lithuanian readers' reactions.


Dalia Grybauskaite
Grybauskaite is the current European Union budget commissioner

Everybody in Lithuania is currently dissatisfied with our politicians, so it is no surprise that Grybauskaite won this election. She is like a candidate from outside - she was working in Europe recently, so she was not involved in local rows. Grybauskaite decided not to reveal her beliefs because she knew that by doing that she would lose some of her voters. Nobody can tell what she is going to do right now, because nobody knows her. We have a saying: if you rise suddenly, you will soon fall dramatically. I think that this is a likely scenario.
Linas, Vilnius, Lithuania

She was ahead in the presidential elections since the campaign began. There were no doubts she would win. There was no political campaign because nobody saw even slightest possibility to beat her at this election. There is lots of excitement nowadays in Lithuania. Many people put their hopes in the new president despite knowing almost nothing about her personality.

Lithuanians think that she is different from corrupt local politics and can make tough decisions. Nobody is talking about the fact that she is first Lithuania's woman president, but talking about what should she probably do to take out Lithuania from worsening crisis. Tomorrow is going to show if she was the right choice.
Edward Baublys, Vilnius, Lithuania

Great news! Though it was expected, it's still very good. Dalia Grybauskaite seems to know what to do in the Lithuanian political arena and has very strong support. Her experience with different political parties in Lithuania and several years in high positions in the European Council should help her to leverage support and experience to clean up Lithuanian political and bureaucratic structures by eliminating the corruption, integrating Lithuanian society more into Western European reality and European Union instead of focusing on Eastern neighbours and Russia as before. The new president, though not directly responsible, should have a great influence on energetic and economic projects and processes in Lithuania's currently tough situation.
Augustas, Vilnius, Lithuania

This sound victory shows that Lithuanian citizens are willing for change. People are considering our new president as opposition to Soviet-minded or irrational policy. I hope that with Dalia Grybauskaite, the presidency will raise the level of Lithuanian political culture. I think that the new president will push the cabinet to cut public spending and increase transparency.
Simonas Žunda, Vilnius, Lithuania

The country is very joyful due to the election results. People wanted change and Ms Grybauskaite is like a Lithuanian Obama. She is a new, fresh person in the government and people hope there will be serious changes made in foreign policies, and will start a different phase in politics as parties in Lithuania are in a bad state. It is hard to expect any serious changes in social life and economics as the head of Lithuania is a Prime Minister and the President's main task is to represent the country.
Marius Gorochovskis, Vilnius

I think Ms Grybauskaite's election was similar to Obama's in the US. The country went on this kind of mania on her, similar to the US, even though most of them did not know what she did or could do. However, that's the general problem - most people go to elections without any deep understanding of any candidates. That does not make her an immediate bad president. Ms Dalia will have to do the hard work to match expectations, which are very high and if she does not, her popularity will drop dramatically.
Karolis, Palanga, Lithuania

Grybauskaite is a president of hope. We want to see professionals at the top of our government who can propose western experience and fresh views instead of old-fashioned former soviet politicians. It is sad when young professionals do not want to go into local parliament, because they do not want to lose their good reputations.
Audra, Kaunas, Lithuania

A lot of people were waiting for this to happen. Although the president cannot do a lot inside the country, people still believe that President Dalia Grybauskaite will be able to control the sad economic situation and make people believe that changes will come to Lithuania with a higher quality of politics and a higher standard of presidency.
Tomas, Klaipeda, Lithuania

I spent half of the night in Grybauskaite's election headquarters waiting for the results together with the others. I knew that after President Valdas Adamkus she was the only one I could see in the president's post even before she announced she was going to run in the election. She has a lot of experience in economics and finance.

That's what Lithuania needs now when the country is suffering from crisis. Ms Grybauskaite looks strong, determined, knows what she is talking about, takes responsibility for her words. She is a wonderful speaker, besides Ms. Grybauskaite is not demagogic as most Lithuanian politicians are. At this time when Lithuanian citizens are strongly disappointed in parties and the government she is the best choice Lithuania could have. That is my opinion as a citizen of Lithuania.
Justina, Vilnius, Lithuania

This only shows that Lithuanian people have seen enough lies and manipulations. The country said "No!" loud and clear to whole dirt deeply ingrained in Lithuanian politics. I'm glad, that people finally said "Enough!" I sure hope she will show no mercy and hit hard on parliament and the government. Male, female - no difference, as long as a person is not only willing to do what needs to be done, but is ready to do whatever it takes, and take no excuses from those who tell us nothing but lies and steal from the nation.
Algirdas Rondamanskis, Kaunas, Lithuania

The major factor in deciding Grybauskaite's solid win can be explained by her former experience as EU commissioner. It had been strongly believed pre-election campaign that she could help Lithuania to attract foreign investments and raise living standards. As far as electing a woman as a president is concerned, there has been absolutely no prejudice about that. After all, Lithuania belongs to the same Baltic region, with examples of Tarja Halonen (Finland) and Vaira Vike Freiberga (Latvia).
Edgar, Vilnius



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