2019.12.20 12:00

New electoral rules should not apply to next year's election, Lithuanian president insists

BNS 2019.12.20 12:00

It would be wrong to change election rules for next year's vote and a lower electoral threshold should only apply to the 2024 general election, according to the Lithuanian president, who recently vetoed a rule change adopted by the parliament.

“First of all, I believe the law itself has been drafted too late. The public has the impression that it is intended for the upcoming election, and I think that impression is right,” Nausėda told the news website's programme Dėmesio Centre (In Focus) on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the president had vetoed the law lowering parliamentary election threshold from 5 to 3 percent for parties and from 7 to 5 percent for party coalitions.

Read more: Lithuanian president vetoes changes to election rules

In his opinion, election rules should not be changed with so little time until a general election.

Lithuania will elect a new Seimas in October 2020.

“The lowering of election thresholds in the multi-member constituency would lead to greater fragmentation of the Seimas, make the formation of the ruling coalition more difficult and hamper the smooth functioning of the Seimas and the government,” Nausėda said in a statement after refusing to sign the bill into law.

The Seimas passed the new law on December 10, mostly by the ruling coalition's votes.

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Labour Party say they have enough votes to reject the presidential veto.

The Seimas will consider overturning the president's veto issue in January.