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Lithuania's 'Iron Lady' Wins Presidential Runoff

  • VOA News

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite casts her vote during European Parliament and Lithuania's presidential elections in Vilnius, May 25, 2014.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite casts her vote during European Parliament and Lithuania's presidential elections in Vilnius, May 25, 2014.

Dalia Grybauskaite has been re-elected president of Lithuania, after defeating the Social Democrat candidate in a runoff.

Lithuania's so-called "Iron Lady" dominated the first round of voting two weeks ago in the Baltic country's sixth presidential ballot, but she failed to secure the majority needed to win outright.

Grybauskaite on Sunday called her victory over Zigmantas Balcytis "historic'' because "Lithuania has never elected a president for a second term before.''

According to preliminary results in the runoff, Grybauskaite won 58.6 percent of the votes, while Balcytis won 41.4 percent.

Lithuania was ruled by Russia during the Cold War. President Grybauskaite has welcomed the presence of NATO troops in Lithuania since the upheaval in Ukraine.

The 58-year-old president has a karate black belt and promised during the campaign that she would not be intimidated by Russian aggression, saying "I'll take a gun myself to defend the country if that what's needed for national security."
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