Left Menu
Development News Edition

Lithuania holds national vote, coalition talks expected

Pre-election polls in the Baltic nation show the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, which now leads the coalition government, marginally ahead of the opposition conservative Homeland Union-Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the populist Labour party and the center-right Liberal Movement. A recent surge in COVID-19 cases, soaring virus-related unemployment and economic challenges are the major issues that have sparked criticism of the current coalition government.

PTI | Vilnius | Updated: 11-10-2020 14:39 IST | Created: 11-10-2020 14:33 IST
Lithuania holds national vote, coalition talks expected
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Polls opened Sunday for the first round of Lithuania's parliamentary election, where voters will choose 141 national lawmakers and the ruling four-party coalition is facing a stiff challenge from the opposition. Pre-election polls in the Baltic nation show the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, which now leads the coalition government, marginally ahead of the opposition conservative Homeland Union-Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats, the populist Labour party and the center-right Liberal Movement.

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases, soaring virus-related unemployment and economic challenges are the major issues that have sparked criticism of the current coalition government. Five or six parties are expected to cross the 5% threshold to enter the Seimas assembly but none is likely to get more than 20% support, so horse-trading talks to form a new governing coalition are very likely after the election.

The recent sharp rise in coronavirus infections in Lithuania and new restrictions to fight the spread of COVID-19 may affect turnout among the country's 2.4 million registered voters. Some 7.3% have already cast their ballots in an early voting, according to the Central Electoral Commission. A second round of voting has been set for Oct. 25 in constituencies where no candidate gets a majority.

Many Lithuanians complain that government did not do enough to help companies during the nation's coronavirus lockdown, as the unemployment rate jumped from 9% in February to more than 14% in October. Others say the strict health regulations focused on fighting the virus left thousands of other patients without proper access to health services. Supporters of the ruling coalition say this coastal Baltic country has suffered relatively lightly in the pandemic. So far Lithuania has seen 5,963 confirmed coronavirus cases and and just above 100 deaths.

Lithuania has kept strong democratic traditions since declaring independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. It has also played a major role as the protests in neighboring Belarus unfold against that nation's authoritarian leader. Lithuania has granted shelter to Belarus opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled Belarus after challenging President Alexander Lukashenko in the country's Aug. 9 presidential vote. Officials said Lukashenko won a sixth term in office but opposition members say the election was riddled with fraud.

Together with its Baltic neighbors Estonia and Latvia, Lithuania swiftly imposed sanctions against Belarusian leaders, and the European Union — a 27-nation bloc that includes the three Baltic nations — eventually followed suit with sanctions. Belarus is not an EU member..


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs. U.S. CDC reports 262,673 deaths from coronavirusThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC on Friday reported 12,823,092 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 324,35...

Reuters Sports News Summary

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs. Ravens game at Steelers postponed due to COVID-19 outbreakThe Baltimore Ravens game versus hosts Pittsburgh Steelers has been moved to Tuesday from Sunday because of a COVID-19 outbreak ...

Honduran ex-president Zelaya stopped at airport with bag of money

Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya said on Friday that he had been unjustly detained at the Central American nations Toncontin international airport for carrying 18,000 in cash, which he said was not his. I dont know the origin of that...

Honduran ex-president Zelaya says he was 'unjustly' detained at airport with bag of money

Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya said on Friday that he had been unjustly detained at the Central American nations Toncontin international airport as he was getting ready to travel to Mexico for a seminar.The reason, a bag of money w...

Give Feedback