Election Surprises and Predictions

Roko Lukoševičiaus / 15min nuotr. / Seimo rinkimai 2020, balsų skaičiavimas

The newly founded Freedom Party won an unexpected fifth place in the first round of parliamentary elections. Aušrinė Armonaitė, head of Freedom Party, feels that voters heard the party’s message about the importance of education and improving the human rights situation in Lithuania. Armonaitė said the government’s policy on alcohol would be its priority. The party has secured eight seats, and will have a chance to claim 12 more during the runoff vote. According to political analysts, the party may become an important partner in helping form a ruling coalition.

Preliminary results from the Central Electoral Commission show the Labour Party received 9.47% of the national vote in the multi-member constituency.

Leader Viktor Uspaskich said the party is ready to cooperate with whoever is tasked with forming the next government, and is satisfied with the election result, because the party achieved its key goal of crossing the 5% threshold.

In a post-election news conference Gabrielius Landsbergis, the leader of the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), said a broad ruling coalition could be formed in Lithuania’s next parliament to meet the expectations of a wide range of voters. If the Homeland Union (the Conservatives) form the next government, it will include more women than the current cabinet, said party’s prime ministerial candidate Ingrida Šimonytė. “Professional politicians” should work in the government, Šimonytė said, in reference to the incumbents’ slogan of forming a “government of professionals”. Speaking of potential differences with the TS-LKD’s most likely coalition partners, the liberals, Šimonytė pointed out their different positions on tax cuts and budget re-distribution. There would have to be a discussion “on how much the country could cut taxes while still ensuring funding for education, healthcare, social security and other key areas,” Šimonytė said.

The Farmers and Greens came in second in the first round of voting with 17.5% of the national vote in the multi-member constituency, compared with the Homeland Union’s 25%. Leader Ramūnas Karbauskis said his party intends to be constructive if they form the opposition, but might still form the new government, in which case it would continue the current Cabinet’s work.

The Farmers and Greens’ partners in the outgoing ruling coalition – the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS) and the Social Democratic Labour Party – failed to cross the 5% threshold required to qualify for seats in parliament.                                                                                                       With news from LRT.lt and BNS