While the corona numbers are rising sharply, Lithuania is electing a new parliament. An interim result confirms the expected close race between a ruling party and an opposition force.
In the first round of the parliamentary elections in Lithuania, the Union of Farmers and Greens came out on top after a little more than 60 percent of the electoral districts were counted. The ruling party from the political center received 21.1 percent of the vote, as the electoral commission in Vilnius announced on Sunday evening. The conservative opposition party Patriotic Union ranks second with 17.8 percent, followed by the populist Labor Party with 12.6 percent and the Social Democrats with 10.7 percent.
With the counting of the remaining electoral districts, the balance of power could shift somewhat. Experts assume that the Conservatives and Social Democrats will still gain with the votes from the larger cities of the Baltic EU country.
Of the other 13 political forces who ran for the election, three more could make it into the parliament of the NATO state, according to the information. The preliminary final result is expected on Monday. The turnout was 47.2 percent, lower than in the election four years ago.
The second ballot will follow in two weeks
The vote on Sunday was the first of two rounds of voting: the voters initially decided on 70 seats in parliament according to proportional representation. In two weeks they will vote on 71 direct mandates in the Seimas parliament.
The parties only wanted to talk about possible coalitions after the election, which took place during a phase with the number of corona infections rising sharply. The focus of the election campaign, which was overshadowed by the pandemic, were economic and socio-political issues.
Lithuania recently came into the international limelight due to the crisis in neighboring Belarus. After the presidential election, which was criticized as grossly falsified, many members of the opposition were accepted from there, including opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya.