The ruling party was defeated in the Lithuanian parliamentary elections. The Conservatives with their non-party lead candidate will be the winners – and now they want a change of power.
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 election 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. After the results were announced, farmer Ramunas Karbauskis admitted the defeat of his center party and congratulated the conservatives.
Ex-finance minister is the best candidate
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 first round of voting indicated success for the Conservatives
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.
Even after the first vote two weeks ago, it was believed that the Conservatives were likely to be successful. At the time, 70 seats were allocated on the basis of proportional representation and three direct mandates, the remaining 68 mandates were decided in second elections 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, shaped by economic and socio-political issues.