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2020.10.26 00:09

Conservatives seal victory in Lithuania's run-off elections

BNS, LRT.lt2020.10.26 00:09

Lithuania is holding the second round of its parliamentary election on Sunday in which voters elect 68 MPs. Polls closed at 20:00.

The conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) has won the parliamentary elections in Lithuania and will go ahead to form a centre-right ruling coalition with two liberal parties, according to the preliminary run-off results published on Sunday night.

The non-final results show the TS-LKD securing 50 seats, while the incumbent Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union will have 32 representatives.

The conservatives' potential partners – the Liberal Movement and Freedom Party – won 13 and 11 mandates respectively, meaning that the three parties are looking at 74 seats in the 141-seat legislature.

The Social Democratic Party (LSDP) will have 13 MPs, and the Labour Party will have ten seats, the preliminary results show.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS) and the Social Democratic Labour Party (LSDDP) will have three representatives each.

Voter turnout stood at 39.7 percent, Laura Matjošaitytė, chair of the country's Central Electoral Commission, reported after polling stations closed on Sunday.

Future government

Ingrida Šimonytė, the TS-LKD candidate for prime minister, said on Sunday night she was taking the initiative to form a centre-right ruling coalition with the two liberal parties.

If she becomes prime minister, Šimonytė said she would change the government's approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

“First, we'll have to change the management model,” she said. “What we miss today is transparency and clarity.”

Currently, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga is heading the government's coronavirus response. Šimonytė has previously suggested that the task should fall with the prime minister.

Nevertheless, Šimonytė refused to provide any detail on the election night on possible lockdown decisions and stressed that specialists should be consulted on the matter.

Šimonytė said that Freedom Party's bid to legalise same-sex partnership and decriminalise soft drugs would not be included into the coalition's government programme, since the conservatives differ on these issues. Attempts will be made to find “a different format than the government programme” by continuing discussions in the parliament.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who ran in the Pilaitė-Karoliniškės constituency in Vilnius, lost to a conservative candidate (Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė) on Sunday. However, he has secured a seat as part of the LVŽS party list.

Mutli-member constituency results

Seventy of 141 members of the Seimas were elected in the nationwide multi-member constituency in the first round on October 11.

Three more candidates secured victories in their single-member constituencies in the first round with over 50 percent of the vote. In the remaining 68 constituencies, the two front-runners were competing for seats in the runoff.

The vote in the multi-member constituency on October 11 gave 23 seats to the conservative Homeland Union party (TS-LKD), 16 went to the incumbent Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS). The Labour Party got nine seats, the Social Democratic Party (LSDP) and the liberal Freedom Party got eight each. The Liberal Movement was the last party to clear the 5-percent threshold, securing 6 seats in the parliament.

The new parliament usually holds its first sitting in mid-November.

Read more: How Lithuania’s mixed election system works – explainer