2016.10.05 14:52

Early vote in the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

Algirdas Acus2016.10.05 14:52

On Wednesday, Lithuania started early voting for Parliamentary elections scheduled for 9th October, with ruling Social Democrats challenged by oppositional Conservatives and Green.

Those who will not be able to cast their vote on Sunday can vote in municipalities, on Wednesday and Thursday. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė was among those who decided to vote early.
‘I voted for change’, says Grybauskaitė who recently has been at odds with ruling Social Democrats and did not even talk to them personally.
However, Social Democrats are still the most popular party, according to the most recent Spinter poll ordered by DELFI. They are leading with 15.6 percent of support and have a real chance to repeat their success of 2012.
Newly resurrected Peasant and Green Union and the main parliamentary opposition centre-right Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (Conservatives) have respectively 14 percent and 13.7 percent of support, according to the poll.
Both parties improved their ranking compared to previous polls, while Social Democrats saw their rankings drop. However, all the three parties will compete for winning, as the difference is within the margin of error in the poll.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė votes in early elections

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania:

 I voted for change so that it could lead us to a stable increase in welfare.

Shots from early vote in the Vilnius Municipality

Sound bite (Lithuanian), woman:

Four years I’ve been waiting for this day, because I think that now we will be able to have those who look at politics and governance more responsibly. I hope for a new generation of politicians to come.

Sound bite (Lithuanian), woman:

Only stability, only stability matters. Let them continue their work, because if changes will take place all the blaming will start again. Let them continue their work.

Shots of TV debates (recent)
Sound bite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVIČIUS, Social Democratic Prime Minister of Lithuania (overlaid with a title):

I have to say that in 2015, while fighting with shadow economy, Lithuania achieved the best result in Europe. Based on Professor Schneider’s calculations, Lithuania extracted from the shadow 1.3 percent of GDP, which amounts to almost 480 million Euros.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, leader of the oppositional Conservatives:

Every Monday we start with a new scandal in this government. They cover their men in Parliament and everywhere else, we can see how Mr. Olekas (Minister of Defence) was defended with all his ‘golden’ spoons (refers to corruption scandal in the army). It is obvious that these actions create a huge sense of injustice. On the other hand, all the basic services such as schools or hospitals, they suffer from long queues. People remember Soviet times and they remember wealth of nomenclature, and they see all the same things when looking at the current government.
Sound bite (Lithuanian)

SAULIUS SKVERNELIS, Leader of the Peasant and Green Union:

If we can find the model similar to that of state defence where funding would not be dependent on a need to contact a certain politician: PM or chairman of the Finance Committee, if we can put a clear criteria for budget allocation, only then we can achieve something. But if law enforcement institutions and special services compete for political leaders’ attention we will not have trust in institutions or any real capabilities.

Archive shots of Social Democratic PM Algirdas Butkevičius
Archive shots of Conservatives’ leader Gabrielius Landsbergis

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

VITALIS NAKROŠIS, Professor in public administration, Vilnius University:

I would give seven points (out of ten) to the current government as it did not capitalize on structural reforms opportunities, because more significant reforms are needed in order to face the long-term competitive challenges.

Recent shots of the Lithuanian Parliament building

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