The elections were held following the impeachment of President Rolandas Paksas, who was elected in January 2003. Paksas was impeached for allegedly leaking classified material, and granting citizenship for Russian businessman Jurij Borisov in exchange for financial support. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania ruled that Paksas cannot seek re-election as president.
The candidates for the presidency are Adamkus, who was President from 1998 to 2003 and who is running as an independent, Prunskienė of the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union (NDP), Vilija Blinkevičiutė of the New Union Party (NS), Petras Auštrevičius (independent), and Česlovas Juršėnas of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP).
The election coincided with the 2004 European Parliament election.