13 Oct, 2020

Liberals gain seats in Lithuania

On 11 October, the first round of this year’s parliamentary elections was held in Lithuania, where members were elected to 70 out of 141 seats in the Seimas.

Three ALDE Party members participated in the election, Liberalų Sąjūdis (Liberal Movement), Darbo Partija (Labour Party) and Laisves Partija (Freedom Party).

Liberalų Sąjūdis (Liberal Movement) received 6.79% of votes, becoming the sixth largest party in the first round. Party Leader Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen welcomed the result, although she had hoped for a slightly better outcome in multi-member constituencies. Commenting on the election, she said:

“We are glad that the votes of the liberal voters have not been lost and will be represented in the parliament as well as possible. (...) There is a strong need in Lithuania for the representation of change and liberal ideas in the Seimas.”

You can read a thank you message by the party here.

Adding to this, Čmilytė-Nielsen made it clear that Liberalų Sąjūdis will not be working with the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, who came in as the second-largest party with 17.5% of votes. Their current coalition partners failed to reach the 5% threshold and will not find a partner with Liberal Movement.

"I can hardly imagine the points of contact with the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union. We haven't had any of them in the Seimas in the last four years, I don't think anything would change," Čmilytė-Nielsen said.

Darbo Partija (Labour Party) won 9.46% of votes, becoming the third-largest party in Lithuania in the first round. The party improved their number of seats by seven and will have nine representatives in the Seimas.

Party Leader and MEP Viktor Uspaskich said that he is pleased with the result and aims to cooperate to achieve a coalition agreement if possible. He underlined the importance of the party’s programme and that he is not interested in political positions as such, stating:

The most important thing is to contribute to prosperity and implement key points of Darbo Partija’s electoral programme”.

Vigilijus Jukna, lead candidate for Darbo Partija, was also pleased with the election results, saying that this outcome was achieved because he and his party “…actively participated in the agitation, visited a large part of Lithuania, met with people, listened to their expectations." This has resulted in a substantial increase of their parliamentary representation to nine seats in total.

You can watch a message from Party Leader Viktor Uspaskich here.

For Laisves Partija, this was the first time running in the parliamentary elections. The party gained 9.02% of the vote, becoming the country’s fifth largest party in the first round.

Following the election day, party leader Aušrinė Armonaitė said that, as a new party, it is very important for Laisves Partija to implement their programme but not at any cost. Armonaitė thanked all voters for their support and stressed that this result is a clear message from voters that key issues, such as education and human rights, must be addressed. You can watch Armonaitė’s full address here.

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen congratulated all ALDE member parties on their results. He sees this as a clear signal for liberal change in Lithuania.

The second round of parliamentary elections will take place on 25 October, after which the allocation of seats in the Seimas will be finalised.

You can find the results of the first round here.

Photo credit: Viktor Uspaskich MEP (c) European Union 2016 - Source: EP; Aušrinė Armonaitė (c) Laisvės partija – Facebook; Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen (c) Liberalų sąjūdis

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