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Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov’s political party comes dead last in Lithuania

Vladimir Romanov: Urged to make 'dignified exit'

Vladimir Romanov: Urged to make 'dignified exit'

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov’s political party has come last in his homeland’s general election.

• Romanov’s Lithuanian People’s Party comes last from 18 parties running.

• But Hearts owner still feels ‘like the winner’

Romanov, 65, headed his party list in the election and fielded candidates including three current players, two 1970s basketball legends plus a local Latin dance star.

But he was disappointed when the LPP trailed all rivals with just 0.26 percent of the popular vote in Sunday’s polling. But he played down the low level of support saying: “We already feel like the winner because we managed to register the party and gained experience.

“Anyway, we’ve seen the show, and it can’t be called an election.”

Romanov set up his party in February, but left voters baffled after shrouding his policy plans in mystery.

At the time he said: “My enemies will tell you what my goals are. You won’t believe them anyway. I don’t have time to speak about it now.”

He was forced to declare a personal wealth of £42million in a bid to win a spot in the Lithuanian Parliament.

The magnate included three players from iconic basketball club Zalgiris Kaunas in his team.

He tapped Zalgiris’s shooting guard Rimantas Kaukenas, who played for Lithuania at the London Olympics, plus the twin-brother forwards Darjus and Ksistof Lavrinovic.

Romanov added 70s players Vitoldas Masalskis and Anatolijus Ciupkovas, along with dancing favourite Andrius Kandelis.

The tycoon bought Hearts in 2005 and packed the Edinburgh side with Lithuanians..

Romanov, the biggest shareholder in Lithuanian bank Ukio Bankas, tried to run for president in 2009.

However, he was barred due to being born abroad. Under the constitution, a presidential candidate must be a Lithuanian citizen “by origin”.

Results showed that the poll winners were the leftwing populist Labour party and centre-left Social Democrats.

 

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