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2016.10.10 13:52

Results of the first round of Lithuania’s Parliamentary Elections

Algirdas Acus 2016.10.10 13:52

With 98 percent of the polling stations having counted ballots, the two non-ruling parties received almost an equal part of the vote.

With 98 percent of the polling stations having counted ballots, the two non-ruling parties received almost an equal part of the vote.

The newly resurrected centrist Peasants and Green Union party won 21,64 % of the vote dominating in provinces, while the main Opposition party, Homeland Union – Christian Democrats – 21,55 %. It still could end in the first position as conservatives are very strong in bigger cities, and results from bigger polling stations in the cities usually come last.

The ruling Social Democrats finished only third with 14, 45 %, in a huge blow for Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.

‘I would say that recently there was a lot of bad publicity aimed at us, aimed against Social Democrats, against me personally and even against my family, against the government, and so I think that this propaganda was destructive both for the party and for me‘, said Butkevičius.

Social Democrats recently were embroiled in several corruption scandals and passed the unpopular new Labour Code, which makes it easier to hire and dismiss employees.

Provinces where Social Democrats usually dominated, this time, were taken by Peasants and Green Union, which did not even make it into the Parliament during the last elections. This time, the party is led by a very popular former chief of police and former Minister of Interior, Saulius Skvernelis, who stresses the need of new professional politicians.

‘If other parties want to work with us, then we talk not so much about certain personalities, but about criteria for those personalities and they are professionalism in a certain sphere, their integrity, responsibility and moral principles. Also determinism, as the state needs determined persons to make decisions’, said Skvernelis pointing out that only a half of the work is done.

Peasants promised not to negotiate on coalition deal until the results of the second round after two weeks are known, but leader of the Conservatives Gabrielius Landsbergis already said he can see the new ruling majority comprised of his party, Peasants and Liberals.

‘Obviously people in the cities and in the regions want change. We can see that by the results that are highly disappointing to the current ruling majority. So I really doubt if voters would be happy it we returned part of that ruling majority to the new government. I think they want a wind of change‘, said 34-year old Landsbergis, who could become the youngest Prime Minister in Europe.

Shotlist

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, Leader of the oppositional Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats:

Obviously people in the cities and in the regions wanted change. We can see that by the results that are highly disappointing to the current ruling majority. So I really doubt if voters would be happy it we returned part of that ruling majority to the new government. I think they want a wind of change.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, leader of the oppositional Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats:

I have said more than once that I see the new ruling majority formed of these three parties: Peasants, Homeland Union and Liberals.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

SAULIUS SKVERNELIS, former Chief of Police, former Minister of Interior and one of the leaders of Peasant and Green Union:

Today only about a half of the work is done, there is still another part waiting. When it is done, we’ll see.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

SAULIUS SKVERNELIS, former Chief of Police, former Minister of Interior and one of the leaders of Peasant and Green Union:

But if other parties want to work with us, then we talk not so much about certain personalities, but about criteria for those personalities and they are professionalism in a certain sphere, their integrity, responsibility and moral principles. Also about determinism as the state needs determined persons to make decisions.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

RAMŪNAS KARBAUSKIS, one of the leaders of Peasant and Green Union:

We said that without the second round we will not negotiate. (So none will come to congratulate you?) It is possible to congratulate by phone. (Did you receive any calls?) I did quite enough. (From whom?) Not from persons you think about (Landsbergis and Butkevičius?) Not them.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVIČIUS, Social Democratic Prime Minister of Lithuania:

I would say that recently there was a lot of bad publicity aimed at us, aimed against social democrats, against me personally and even against my family and the government. So I think this propaganda was destructive for the rankings of our party and for me.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

ALGIRDAS BUTKEVIČIUS, Social Democratic Prime Minister of Lithuania:

Negotiations are possible, and we are ready to talk, but we have to understand that to begin with certain provisions for the future need to be discussed.