Romanov 'not Lithuanian enough' to run for president

HEARTS owner Vladimir Romanov has been told that he cannot run in the Lithuanian presidential election in May.

Mr Romanov, 61, who also owns the Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas and has a major holding in a bank in the country, applied on Thursday to stand.

Saulius Katuoka, the deputy chairman of the chief electoral commission, said: "The commission voted unanimously that he does not qualify to be of Lithuanian origin and by the law he cannot stand as president."

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The constitution requires the candidate to be of Lithuanian origin, and while Mr Romanov has spent the majority of his life in Lithuania and made his fortune there, he was born in Russia.

He only moved to the country with his father, an army officer, in the mid-1950s, when the Baltic state was still under Soviet rule.

He had hoped to replace the current president, Valdas Adamkus, who is due to step down after his second five-year term.

Commenting on the decision, Romanov said: "I am disappointed. It made me wonder who I am."