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2012 07 23

Lithuanian president's rebuff to Vilnius mayor: Competition useful everywhere, especially in Vilnius heating sector

Competition is useful everywhere, especially in the Vilnius heating sector, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė has said in response to comments by Vilnius Mayor Artūras Zuokas on him intending to look for an alternative candidate in the next presidential election.
Artūras Zuokas ir Dalia Grybauskaitė
Artūras Zuokas and Dalia Grybauskaitė / Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr.

"Any competition is highly useful everywhere. Back when I was running for the election, there were seven candidates, so people had a possibility to choose from a bigger number of candidates. I would like to specifically say to the Vilnius mayor – competition is very useful in politics, especially in Vilnius heating sector," Grybauskaitė told journalists on Monday.

She refused to give a direct answer about her plans to run for the second five-year term in the President's Office. Grybauskaitė emphasized that official registration of candidates did not start until 80 days prior to the election, scheduled for June 2014.

The president has repeatedly criticized Zuokas-led municipality over the situation in the city's heating sector.

Speaking at a news conference last week, Zuokas called on the public to look for an alternative candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

"I was saddened by the president's three-year review when she said she was never wrong, didn’t have to give explanations and be accountable to the public. I believe these are dangerous statements," Zuokas said.

"I am against holding presidential election without alternatives or with just a single candidate. Today, I am inviting the public to look for potential candidates in whom we can trust together," the Vilnius mayor told reporters last week.

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