2020.10.13 15:38

Still unclear who will form Lithuania's next government, president says

BNS2020.10.13 15:38

Both a centre-left and a centre-right ruling coalition is possible after the parliamentary election, depending on the results of the October 25 runoff vote, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said on Tuesday.

The results of the first round show that all possibilities remain open, according to the president.

Read more: Lithuania’s general elections – key takeaways

“Let's leave coalition formation until after the second round,” Nausėda told reporters in Tauragė, a town in western Lithuania.

“I believe that today possibilities are open for a coalition both on the left and on the right,” he said. “Perhaps even coalitions that are hard to imagine may be possible.”

According to Nausėda, centre-right voters were more active in Sunday's elections, especially in big cities and towns.

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

The conservative Homeland Union emerged the winner in Sunday's elections, securing 23 of the 70 seats allocated in the multi-member constituency.

The party's lead candidate Ingrida Šimonytė also won a seat in her single-member constituency. Two liberal parties mentioned as possible coalition partners of the conservatives, the Liberal Movement and Freedom Party, won 6 and 8 seats, respectively.

Centre-left coalition still possible

Meanwhile Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday that a centre-left coalition is still possible, centred around his party, the Farmers and Greens Union.

The party came in second, securing 16 seats in the Seimas. The hypothetical centre-left coalition could also include the Labour Party (9 seats) and the Social Democratic Party (8 seats).

The runoff vote will allocate 68 seats, in addition to three MPs elected in single-member constituencies in the first round.

“The second round may still change the results significantly,” Skvernelis said. “For a left coalition to be formed, we need people to go to the polls and state their position very clearly.”

Ramūnas Karbauskis, the leader of the Farmers and Greens Union, said that his party was facing “a tough battle”, but “the election will only conclude after the second round”.

“It will become clear then which side has the majority,” he added.

Karbauskis said his party was not talking to any other group about forming a coalition, but would endorse “centre-left” candidates in the runoff vote.

“[A coalition is possible] if voters are favourable to centre-left parties. The outcome of the election is far from clear,” he added.

Read more: Lithuanian party leaders in post-election press conference – key takeaways