No Snap Elections


On June 6, the Lithuanian parliament voted down a proposal to hold a snap parliamentary election on September 10. Sixty-six members voted against the proposal, 61 were in favour and eight MPs abstained. A simple majority of 85 votes would have been sufficient to approve the motion during the initial hearing.

The vote failed to receive backing from the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD). The largest party in the ruling coalition saw 34 members of its group in the Seimas vote in favour, bur 14 were against and two MPs abstained. The other two coalition partners, the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party, were unanimously against holding early elections. Sixteen members of the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS) voted in favour, one against, and one abstained, while the majority of the Social Democrats (LSDP), the most popular party in the opposition, voted in favour – nine MPs were in favour and two against.

Presenting the motion earlier in the day, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who leads the ruling conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, said a snap election was needed to reset the political system. The conservatives had proposed it in response to an expenses scandal shaking Lithuania.

Earlier, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said she would resign in mid-July if the early election bid failed to garner support. This would also have meant the resignation of the entire cabinet. Later on Tuesday, she took back her pledge, saying the cabinet’s future depended on the decisions taken by the party’s presidium.