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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lithuania Votes For Fresh Faces

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Lithuanians turned their backs on independence hero Vytautas Landsbergis in Sunday's presidential election, voting instead for two political novices with no links to established parties.

Final figures issued Monday showed Arturas Paulauskas, 44, who topped the poll with 45 percent, would face Lithuanian-American Valdas Adamkus,71, in a runoff for the presidency Jan. 4.

Landsbergis, who led the largest of the three Baltic republics to independence in 1991, polled a mere 16 percent, well behind Adamkus' 28 percent. The strong showing by the two newcomers showed that Lithuanians were prepared to sacrifice political experience for a fresh face and new ideas.

The president's post is mainly ceremonial but the holder plays a key role after elections by nominating the prime minister.He is also expected to be the country's voice abroad and help pursue its goals of entry to the European Union and NATO.