Lithuania goes to polls to elect new president

Lithuania on Sunday held the first round of presidential elections, with nine candidates running for the country's highest office.

The nine candidates include Naglis Puteikis, the chairman of the Lithuanian Centre Party; Valentinas Mazuronis, a member of the European Parliament and a former Lithuanian minister of environment; economist Gitanas Nauseda; philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis; Ingrida Simonyte, a former minister of finance; Vytenis Andriukaitis, Lithuania's European commissioner; Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis; Valdemar Tomasevski, the chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania party; and lawmaker Mindaugas Puidokas, Sputnik reported.

Opinion polls show Simonyte leading with 26.2 per cent, while Nauseda is second with 24.6 per cent and Skvernelis is third with 16.6 per cent.

The elections are scheduled to end on May 26.

Meanwhile, incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in office.