The ideas of liberty can best be implemented in the public sphere when political leaders have a thorough grounding in the importance of free markets, individual rights, and peace. In a recent Lithuanian election, the people of Vilnius elected a new mayor who has precisely those qualities — Remigijus Simasius, former president of Atlas Network partner the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI).
Simasius spent many years at LFMI, originally joining the organization in 1995 when he was only 21 years old, and later serving as vice president and director of research before his tenure as president. He began his career in electoral politics in 2008, first as an appointed minister of justice and then as an elected member of parliament (MP).
“In his capacity as both minister and MP Remigijus displayed a strong commitment to the principles of freedom and free society as well as a firm integrity in realizing these principles,” LFMI wrote. “Already at LFMI he was a great example of how to crystalize arguments and make them understandable to many, how to communicate free market ideas to the wider public in a positive and enlightened manner.”
LFMI has long been a valued partner of Atlas Network, and most recently won the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award for its Municipal Performance Index, which measures and ranks the performance of municipal governments. Simasius now has the opportunity to demonstrate the value of freedom in practical political terms at the municipal level.
“Remigijus’s election as Vilnius mayor has been a great proof of sound policy ideas winning over more and more voices, in spite of the prevailing overall skepticism in the free market,” LFMI wrote. “We wish Remigijus the best of luck in keeping up his spirit, in bringing the principles of liberty into people’s everyday lives and creating ever stronger foundations from which greater prosperity and human flourishing can be built.”