Lithuania opts for change in poll upset

After the weekend run-off vote, which followed a first round on October 9, the centrist Lithuanian Peasants and Green Union party LGPU) ended up with 54 seats in the 141-member parliament.

Lithuania opts for change in poll upset

World Bulletin / News Desk

A political minnow fronted by a former police chief pulled off a stunning election victory in Lithuanaia on Sunday on the back of promises to deliver much-needed economic growth.

It previously had just one seat.

"Iron Lady" President Dalia Grybauskaite said Monday that the election result "confirmed that people want major changes.

"New faces replaced political old-timers in many constituencies –- this means changes on Lithuania's political map," she added.

The conservative Homeland Union, which had been tipped to win, scored a distant second with 31 seats, while the governing Social Democrats were, as expected, relegated to the opposition, with just 17 seats.

Grybauskaite formally invited the LPGU to "form a transparent and responsible majority" government after holding exploratory coalition talks with other party leaders.

She said it was "crucial to restore ruined confidence in the parliament and government."

The LPGU has said it is open to talks with all parties.

"In every election, new political personalities attract disillusioned voters. The LPGU knew how to attract more of them," Ramunas Vilpisauskas, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science in Vilnius, told AFP.

"Some of their ideas are very mainstream, but others are closer to those we see in Poland," he added, pointing to the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party which has taken a controversial course of economic nationalism and legislative reforms which the European Union has warned undermine democracy.

Vilpisauskas also said he expected the LPGU would keep Lithuania firmly rooted in the EU, the eurozone and NATO.

Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2016, 17:18
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