Who is Vytautas Šustauskas?
Šustauskas first gained popularity by defending the rights of the poorest Lithuanians. When the high-society organised the first Vienna ball in the Vilnius City Hall, he organised a party for the poor people in the square just outside the building. The Vienna ball did not take place the following year, which many people regarded as a victory for Šustauskas, as the idea became unpopular among members of high society.
These events raised the popularity of the Lithuanian Freedom Union, as many poorer people already saw high society as a den for corrupt thieves; the ideology which was propagated during communism, and was supported by several scandals in the 90s. The fact that Šustauskas sold his car and invested much of his own funds into these parties for poor people also helped his popularity. However, his and Freedom Union's popularity distribution over Lithuania was very uneven: it was most popular in Šustauskas's hometown Kaunas, but was lacking elsewhere in the country.
The Lithuanian Freedom Union gained a majority in Kaunas city municipality council, and Šustauskas became mayor of Kaunas. Later he was elected to the parliament of one of the electoral districts of Kaunas city. After this his popularity dwindled, as little was achieved, and there were several scandals concerning one member of his party, Enrikas Daktaras, son of Henrikas Daktaras. Enrikas Daktaras was supposedly close to Šustauskas himself and was arrested for drug smuggling. Šustauskas also allegedly had problems with alcohol. He was not elected to parliament in 2004 elections and the Lithuanian Freedom Union lost the influence in Kaunas which it had held previously.
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