Lithuania is facing a change of power. In the second round of the parliamentary elections, the Patriotic Union of the Opposition became the strongest political force. The Conservative party is expected to hold 50 of the 141 seats in parliament after the second round of elections. The electoral commission in Vilnius announced this on Monday evening after counting almost all constituencies.
The second-strongest power in the Baltic EU and NATO country, with 32 seats, will be the ruling Union of Boers and Greens. The three previous coalition partners also lost significantly – two of them only got three seats each. Farmer Ramunas Karbauskis admitted the defeat of his center party after the results were announced and congratulated the conservatives.
Ingrida Simonyte, top candidate of the Fatherland Union, made the right to form a government coalition on election night. The non-party ex-finance minister announced talks with the two liberal parties: the Liberal Movement (13 seats) and the newly established Freedom Party (11 seats).
In a joint statement following a meeting, the heads of the three parties announced their intention to form a center-right government headed by 45-year-old Simonyte. “We are determined to join our efforts to restore trust between the state and the people,” he said.
The tripartite coalition would only achieve a narrow majority in parliament, which also includes the Social Democrats (13 seats) and the populist Labor Party (10 seats). In addition, several smaller parties and independent candidates managed to enter the Seimas parliament. The turnout was 39.7 percent.
Dealing with the pandemic sparked the election campaign.
Even after the first vote two weeks ago, it was believed that the Conservatives were likely to be successful. At that time, 70 seats were allocated by proportional representation and three direct seats, the remaining 68 seats were decided in the second election on Sunday.
Strict corona protection measures were taken in the elections. In the days leading up to the vote and on election day, the number of new infections in Lithuania reached a record level. Tackling the pandemic and its consequences also took the form of the otherwise low-strung electoral campaign, which was shaped by economic and socio-political issues. (dpa)