Lithuanian incumbent President Dalia Grybauskaite won the first round of the presidential election and will face her top challenger in the runoff scheduled for May 25, the Central Electoral Commission said Monday.
Lithuania\’s election commission said Grybauskaite, a former European Union budget commissioner, had won about 45 percent of the vote in the election with 95 percent of the ballots counted.
The preliminary results mean she will likely face Zigmantas Balcytis of the center-left social democrats in a runoff to be held on May 25.
The election comes on the heels of Russia\’s takeover of Ukraine\’s Crimean peninsula.
Lithuania until its independence in 1991 was part of the Soviet Union and largely controlled by Moscow. President Grybauskaite has welcomed the presence of NATO troops in Lithuania since the upheaval in Ukraine.
The 58-year-old has a karate black belt and promised on the campaign trail last week that she would not flee in the face of Russian aggression, saying "I\’ll take a gun myself to defend the country if that what\’s needed for national security."