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2019.11.20 10:00

Seimas opts to reduce party election thresholds in Lithuania

Saulius Jakučionis, BNS2019.11.20 10:00

Lithuanian parliament is considering lowering the election threshold for political parties. The proposals are backed by President Gitanas Nausėda.

Now parties need to exceed the 5 percent threshold in the multi-member constituency to get into the country's parliament, and there's a 7 percent threshold for coalitions.

The proposals to adjust the thresholds were backed by the parliamentary Committee on State Administration and Local Authorities, but politicians from the ruling block want them reduced to 3 and 5 percent respectively.

The president believes the threshold reduction would create conditions for a wide range of people to be represented in the parliament.

"We consider the Seimas committee's endorsed decision to lower the threshold to 4 and 6 percent as balanced. The reduction of the election threshold would create more possibilities for a wider range of citizens to be represented in the Seimas," the president's office said in a comment sent to BNS.

It also states that decisions to change the threshold "should not lead to disorder and the law should not be amended in the future depending on political circumstances".

Lawmakers from the ruling block had planned to vote on changing the election threshold during the initial deliberation stage on Tuesday, but the issue was postponed following the opposition's request.