2020.10.12 17:30

Lithuanian party leaders fail to secure outright victories in first-round elections

BNS2020.10.12 17:30

Ingrida Šimonytė, the lead candidate of the conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), was the only party leader to secure an outright victory in her single-member constituency after Sunday's first round of voting.

Other leaders, including Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, the lead candidate of the Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), are either facing a runoff on October 25 or were defeated in the first round.

The losers include Virgilijus Jukna, the Labour Party's lead candidate, Zbignev Jedinski of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS), and Gediminas Kirkilas and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius of the Social Democratic Labour Party.

Here is a look at how some of political party leaders performed in the first round of voting.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, chairman of the TS-LKD, came in first in his constituency in Kaunas with 38.04 percent of the vote and will compete in the second round against Audronė Jankuvienė of the LVŽS who garnered 12.77 percent support.

Read more: Lithuania's general elections give victory to opposition conservatives

Šimonytė won an MP seat in the first round after winning 60.72 percent of the vote in her constituency in Vilnius, compared to 6.35 percent for Vytautas Radžvilas of the National Alliance, her nearest competitor.

Šimonytė also won the most preference votes on the party's electoral list in the multi-member constituency, followed by Landsbergis in second place.

Skvernelis received 14.38 percent of the vote in his constituency in Vilnius and will have to face Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė of the TS-LKD who garnered 30.14 percent.

The outgoing prime minister maintained his number-one place on the LVŽS list in the multi-member constituency, followed by Ramūnas Karbauskis, the party's chairman, who did not stand in any single-member constituency.

Jukna finished sixth in his single-member constituency in western Lithuania with a mere 5.58 percent of the vote. He also lost his top position on the Labour Party's list to Antanas Guoga, originally ranked at number three, because of preference votes.

Gintautas Paluckas, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (LSDP), came in second in his constituency in eastern Lithuania with 19.99 percent, compared to 29.46 percent for conservative MP Edmundas Pupinis.

Paluckas maintained his top position on the LSDP list in the multi-member constituency, however.

Aušrinė Armonaitė, chairwoman of the liberal Freedom Party, secured 34.31 percent of the vote in the constituency set up for Lithuanian expatriates, compared to 25.85 percent for Dalia Asanavičiūtė of the TS-LKD.

Armonaitė remained number one on her party's candidate list.

Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, chairwoman of the Liberal Movement, mustered 27.97 percent of the vote in her constituency in Vilnius, narrowly trailing conservative challenger Mykolas Majauskas with 28.92 percent.

Čmilyte-Nielsen maintained her number-one spot on the party list.

Jedinski, the LLRA-KŠS's lead candidate, came in fourth in his constituency in eastern Lithuania with 10.57 percent. His party failed to cross the 5-percent threshold to be allocated seats in the parliament under the proportional representation system.

The Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDDP) suffered a fiasco in the election, failing to clear the 5-percent hurdle to enter the Seimas with just 3.17 percent of the vote in the multi-member constituency.

Gediminas Kirkilas, its chairman and a long-standing MP, finished only seventh in his Vilnius single-member constituency with 4.75-percent support.

Foreign Minister Linkevičius, the LSDDP lead candidate, failed to win a seat in the Seimas, too, as he came in third in his constituency with 13.02 percent of the vote.

Read more: Lithuania’s general elections – key takeaways