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Lithuania to get new conservative-liberal coalition prime minister

Lithuania's new prime minister-in-waiting Ingrida Šimonytė, being interviewed by ERR.
Lithuania's new prime minister-in-waiting Ingrida Šimonytė, being interviewed by ERR. Source: Verner Vilgas/ERR

Lithuania is poised for a new prime minister following Sunday's second round run-off, with provisional results giving the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) the largest number of seats and its prime ministerial candidate Ingrida Šimonytė announcing the formation of a centre-right ruling coalition with two liberal parties.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. Sunday, the English-language portal of public broadcaster LRT reports, with turnout standing at 39.7 percent.

Šimonytė has said she would change the government's approach to the coronavirus pandemic at a time when Lithuania's rates are soaring. Over 1,000 cases were reported at the weekend, along with five deaths.  

The second round concerned 68 MPs at the 141-seat Seimas; The non-final results show the TS-LKD securing 50 seats, while the incumbent Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union will have 32 representatives. 

The two parties named as potential liberal partners in a coalition with TS-LKD are the Liberal Movement, who won 13 seats, and the Freedom party, who won 11, which would give the three parties together a 74-seat majority. 

Current incumbent Saulius Skvernelis lost his Vilnius seat on Sunday, but nonetheless will pick up a replacement seat given he runs high up on the LVŽS party list, under Lithuania's proportional representation electoral system. 

Seventy MPs had already been elected in the multi-member constituencies at the October 11 elections; Sunday's poll was a run-off between the top two candidates in each constituency. 

Other issues in focus in addition to COVID-19 have been the Freedom Party's bid to legalize same-sex partnerships and decriminalize soft drugs, though given TS-LKD's conservative stance as the largest of the three potential coalition parties, these seem unlikely to get into any coalition agreement, LRT reports. 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda is to meet with party leaders on Monday to discuss the formation of the new lineup, ERR's online Estonian news reports.

Former President Dalia Grybauskaitė called Sunday's election results: "The best thing that could have happened to Lithuania during this difficult time". 

"We voted for the future and left behind us the policies of revenge, lies and denials," the former president wrote on her social media account. "These three parties have led women to victory. Women are not afraid to take responsibility in difficult times," Grybauskaitė, president 2009-2019, continued.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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