Lithuania Anti-Corruption Agency Charges Vilnius Deputy Mayor

Lithuania’s anti-corruption agency charged Vilnius Deputy Mayor Romas Adomavicius, a candidate for the Social Democrat party that’s leading in the polls less than two weeks before elections, with bribe taking.

Adomavicius is suspected of “demanding, provoking and accepting a personal bribe of 40,000 litai” ($15,000) for ensuring that a company would win an 8 million-litai contract, the Special Investigation Service in Vilnius said today in a statement on its website. Adomavicius, who has denied taking any bribes, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Lithuania will hold parliamentary elections with two rounds of voting on Oct. 14 and Oct. 28. The opposition Social Democrats are in the lead with 23.4 percent support, compared with 12.3 percent for Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius’s Homeland Union party, the newspaper Lietuvos Rytas reported Sept. 24, citing a Vilmorus poll.

Adomavicius, 59, denied having taken any bribe after money was seized from his office during a raid by the Special Investigation Service on Sept. 27, the Baltic News Service reported today. He has suspended his party membership, BNS said.

“However this incident ends, it’s a powerful blow to our party’s reputation,” Algirdas Butkevicius, the head of the opposition Social Democrat party, said on the party’s website today. “The fact that this event could hurt us, the Social Democrats, and influence the results of the parliamentary elections, sparks a variety of thoughts about its timing.”

The Labor party, which promises to cut unemployment to zero in three years, was favored by 21.1 percent of decided voters, while Order & Justice had 13.9 percent backing in the Sept. 7-16 survey by Vilmorus, according to Lietuvos Rytas.

The Way of Courage party, formed six months ago, had 6.5 percent support, while the Liberal Movement, a partner in the current ruling coalition, was the last party to receive backing that would exceed the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament, getting 5.3 percent.

Twenty-six percent said they were still undecided, while another 11.6 percent said they don’t plan to vote. The poll of 1,004 eligible voters didn’t give a margin of error.

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