The Farmers and Greens Union, which forms the backbone of the Baltic nation’s current ruling coalition, took second place with 16 seats and far fewer candidates and reached the second round of voting on October 25th.
Two liberal parties – the Freedom Party and the Liberal Movement – considered likely allies in a future center-right coalition, claimed a total of 14 seats. The center-left Labor party won 9 seats and the Social Democrats 8. Six parties will be represented in the Seimas parliament according to initial results.
Three candidates in constituencies with only one member won the first round, including former Treasury Secretary and one of the home union leaders, Ingrida Simonyte, a former presidential candidate who oversaw drastic austerity measures during the global financial crisis. She could probably be the country’s next prime minister.
Under the Lithuanian electoral system, the remaining 68 lawmakers will be elected in a proportional vote on October 25th.
“We choose the path of consolidation and cooperation, not that of lines and confrontation,” said the young Conservative leader Gabrielius Landsbergis at a press conference on Monday.
He is the grandson of the Lithuanian independence leader Vytautas Landsbergis, who was the first president of the Baltic country.
Lithuania has maintained strong democratic traditions since regaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. It also played an important role when the protests unfolded in neighboring Belarus against the authoritarian leader of that nation.
The southernmost Baltic country of less than 3 million people recently saw a surge in COVID-19 cases. So far, 5,500 coronavirus cases and just over 100 deaths have been confirmed in Lithuania. The center-right coalition government has been heavily criticized for rising virus-related unemployment.