Lithuania starts registration of presidential candidates

Thursday saw the beginning of the registration process of the country's presidential candidates. The line of presidential candidates will be probably joined by a 21st candidate for the state's highest post, said Chairman of the Chief election committee Zenonas Vaigauskas.

The candidates' registration will finish on October 18th. The contenders are to collect 20,000 signatures of their supporters each and grant an advance worth five average monthly salaries.

Political scientists believe that among the contenders there will be only a few candidates who will stand a chance for victory, for example today's President Valdas Adamkus and Chairman of the Parliament Arturas Paulauskas.

The leader of the social democrats currently in power, Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, whose rating has long been high, has refused to run for presidency.

The first round of the Lithuanian presidential election is due on December 22nd.

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