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Lithuanian presidential election into 2nd round

Monday - 5/12/2014, 5:06am  ET

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite speaks to the media after winning the first round of the country's presidential election, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, May 12, 2014. Grybauskaite took a big step Sunday toward winning re-election, dominating the first round of voting in the Baltic country's sixth presidential ballot since it regained independence in 1991. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) -- Seeking re-election in the shadow of the Ukraine crisis, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite appealed to the nation for loyalty as she faces a second round of voting in two weeks.

Lithuania's first female president was the clear favorite among the six candidates competing in the first round of elections Sunday, where she got nearly 46 percent of the votes. She will face Social Democratic politician Zigmantas Balcytis, who won 13.6 percent, in the runoff.

Although running as an independent, Grybauskaite has the backing of Lithuania's center-right parties, and her popularity has recently increased after she strongly rejected Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Balcytis appealed Monday to the other candidates to back him in the second round on May 25, saying he has a "real chance to win."

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