2019.09.23 11:00

Lithuania's Conservatives and Social Democrats win three seats in parliamentary by-election

BNS2019.09.23 11:00

Two members of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats and a member of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), another opposition party, won Sunday's parliamentary by-election in three single-member constituencies. 

Paulė Kuzmickienė, a member of Vilnius' City Council, won 52.03 percent of the vote in the capital's Žirmūnai constituency and Rasa Petrauskienė, the other conservative, received 50.53 percent in Gargždai, in western Lithuania.

The voter turnout in Žirmūnai was a mere 15.34 percent.

Social Democrat Liudas Jonaitis received around 54 percent of the vote in the Žiemgala constituency covering the northern districts of Pakruojis and Joniškis and a part of Šiauliai District.

This brings the number of Homeland Union MPs in the Seimas to thirty-six. The LSDP will now have nine seats in the parliament.

Gintautas Paluckas, the leader of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), has blamed his defeat against conservatives' Kuzmickienė on a low turnout of voters.

"People saw little sense in this election. Hence, the 15 percent turnout in the second round," Paluckas told BNS on Sunday.

"Usually, the higher the turnout, the better for us. The lower the turnout, the greater the influence of the conservatives' loyal supporters on the final outcome of the election," he said, adding he is ready to submit his leadership to a confidence vote if requested by the party.

The by-election was held just over a year before the next general election scheduled for October 2020.

The newly-elected MPs will take office after being sworn in in the parliament.

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