ELECTIONS. Who will form a coalition and who will take the most desirable posts?

Algirdas Butkevičius, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Rolandas Paksas, Valentinas Mazuronis, Saulius Skvernelis
DELFI montažas

With the first round of elections concluded, the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (LVŽS) remains fairly reserved, awaiting second round results. They are currently neck and neck with the Conservatives (TS-LKD) who have exceeded their own expectations. The victories of these two parties have been a tough blow to the Social Democrats (LSDP) who were the core of the incumbent coalition. PM Algirdas Butkevičius denies having made any mistakes. Meanwhile the “Peasants”, undecided between the political right and left, are still deliberating who to govern the country with. Of course if they opt for the Conservatives, they will have to share the highest posts, including that of the Prime Minister ALFA.LT reported.

“This is almost the best performance the TS-LKD have had in a long time,” head of the Homeland Union Gabrielius Landsbergis spoke in a press conference.

The “Peasants” have been unwilling to enter early negotiations with other parties, despite being the most desirable coalition partner. They expect a triumph in the second round.

“It is clear that there will be no true victor after the first round. Many of our candidates entered the second round, we hope it will also be successful and will allow us to form a cabinet of experts, to be the axis of a coalition government,” stated Ramūnas Karbauskis, the chairman of the LVŽS.

With the TS-LKD and LVŽS combined having taken over 45% of the vote, the Social Democrats have been left in third place and experiencing a fiasco, earning 14% of the vote. They refuse to concede however.

“I do not feel that I would have made any mistakes during my term in office. I can only say that from day one I experienced no support from certain institutions. This coalition was accompanied by numerous obstacles, I am glad we managed to maintain political and economic stability,” explained A. Butkevičius.

Unlike the Social Democrats, the scandal-hit Liberal Movement is celebrating. Having earned 8 mandates in the multi-mandate district, the Liberals hope to partner with the Conservatives in forming a coalition.

“Historically this is the best election ever for the Liberal Movement. We have never received such support. We are glad for it. We see an opportunity to participate in the coalition government and represent our ideas,” spoke Liberal Movement leader Remigijus Šimašius.

On the topic of coalitions, party leaders remain wary. It is still not clear which way the “Peasants” will go, left or right.

“We repeat once more that we are not negotiating at the moment; we will be first after the second round and due to this will form a coalition. We are still not ruling out cooperation with either the LSDP or TS-LKD. We will focus on negotiating for a cabinet of experts. There is only one party remaining that we wouldn’t partner with. The other did not even enter Seimas. We have not changed our positions, if the Liberals face accusations, they will cease being a potential partner,” stated R. Karbauskis.

“We believe we will be in the coalition, our discussions with the Liberals and the entire current situation leads to believe that this is a realistic prospect. If we are to speak of changes and a coalition of change, I am hard pressed to see the Social Democrats as representing change. I exclude only one – a non-renewed Social Democrat Party, but I struggle to imagine any renewal,” spoke G. Landsbergis.

Some political analysts are convinced that the country will be governed by a rightist coalition. Just the Conservatives and the “Peasants” may be not enough, which would give chances for the Liberals to enter the coalition.

“It appears that the coalition negotiations may be particularly difficult. Each party will imagine that they should obtain more seats in the second round and will refuse to be the junior coalition partner, meanwhile negotiation positions are the same as well,” explained political analyst Mažvydas Jastramskis.

The Conservatives do not hide their intent to aim at the highest posts. Gabrielius Landsbergis is convinced that he is prepared to lead the cabinet, albeit even if his party creates a coalition with the “Peasants”, the negotiations for the post of PM may be tough.

“We expect good results, including in obtaining the highest posts. I have said that we bring no demands over minister positions however. It reminds me of a 12 year old tradition, dividing ministries based on European funding,” spoke Landsbergis.

“Landsbergis will prioritise himself. Though Saulius Skvernelis could be a better PM, calmer, but the best solution is to offer the post to Šimonytė. I doubt this will happen, but she has experience in finance and is respected, I think she could support the coalition, while the young Landsbergis’ capabilities are unclear,” analyst Kęstutis Girnius expressed doubt in Landsbergis’ abilities to lead the ministerial cabinet.

Meanwhile the Polish Electoral Action in Lithuania – Christian Families Union which earned five mandates insists that the votes were bought and the election – falsified.

The Anti-Corruption Coalition of Naglis Puteikis and Kristupas Krivickas failed to pass the 7% vote barrier, earning no mandates, however it is celebrating having siphoned away votes from Order and Justice as well as Labour Party.

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