Politics of Lithuania

System and process

Lithuania chooses every four years in equal, universal suffrage and secret elections for a new parliament, the Seimas (Article 55, lit. Constitution ). Until July 2004 had been set as a regular election day the second Sunday in October, this has been changed to a corridor of three months around the end of the current session (Article 57, lit constitution and electoral law ). Entitled to vote at any Lithuanian citizen aged 18 years and permanently residing in Lithuania.

Of the 141 seats will be awarded as 71 directly elected seats and 70 list seats than to political parties. The right to vote is thus a mixed system of majoritarian and proportional representation, called grave electoral system. The idea associated with the majority vote by a clear majority in the parliament has been only partially realized in Lithuania due to the fragmented political landscape.

For the entry into parliament on a party list seats must be at least 5% of the valid votes cast shall combine (7% in an election list). The minimum turnout for the list of places at 25 %. If the minimum proportion is not attained, new elections are recognized within half a year. If none of the candidates of a direct mandate in the first ballot, an absolute majority, held within two weeks instead of a run-off election between the two candidates, which received the most votes in the first ballot. With a turnout of less than 40% of a candidate's vote of at least 20 % of the electorate must be given on the first ballot, otherwise also finds a run-off election. In the second ballot, the turnout requirement is eliminated.

If a parliamentary mandate free so disengaged at places list the next on the list Tiered candidate of the party after, take place in direct mandates elections. Selectable is every Lithuanian citizen who / which has attained the age of 25 years of life and not a member of the military or committed to a foreign state under oath / promise (Article 56, lit. Constitution ).

Similar to the situation in Germany elect the Parliament the Prime Minister (at the recommendation of the president ) and confirmed the allocation of ministries. Early elections are by a majority vote of the Parliament ( 3/5-Mehrheit ) or by order of the President possible if either the government finds no majority for it in parliament or government program distrust pronounce the Parliament of the Government (Article 58, lit. Constitution ). For a successful vote of no confidence requires 71 votes. In addition to legislative activity, the Parliament appoints the Supreme Judge, the Auditor General and the Chairman of the National Bank. Furthermore, it sets the dates for the elections to the State President and in local communities.


As in all successor states of the Soviet Union is also developing in Lithuania after independence gradually a solid party structure and a substantive determination of the parties, although many parties try to build on the tradition of the First Republic in the interwar period 1918-1940. According came often and it comes to party -ups, mergers and name changes, as well as in parliament parliamentarians often change the fractions, Non-attached are / will be new factions or by elimination or merger arise.

However, it has never come to early elections since the first election of the newly independent Lithuania in 1992, every parliament has led his tenure regular end.

The following is a compilation of recent parliamentary elections and the consequent government coalitions.

In the first election in the newly independent Lithuania, the parties that have evolved from the independence movement Sąjūdis must suffer a heavy defeat. After the representatives of Sąjūdis have not found a clear majority in the Supreme Soviet in 1990, now the successor party to the Communist Party of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party ( LDDP ) receives an absolute majority of seats.

Nevertheless, the one-party government of the Social Democrats changed three times the Prime Minister: while Luby his office voluntarily surrendered after the presidential elections in the spring of 1993 Sleževičius, the latter had to after a successful vote of no confidence due to a bank scandal, in which he himself was involved, soft Stankevičius in February 1996.

December 1992 - March 1993: Social Democrats ( former Communists )

March 1993 - February 1996: Social Democrats ( former Communists )

February 1996 - November 1996: Social Democrats ( former Communists )

(*) In three controversial constituencies (No. 22 Pajuris, No. 64 and No. Sakiai? ) Was scheduled redial, all three fell to the direct mandates of Sajudis LDDP when in April 1993. The constituency was elected in February 1993 on the President Algirdas Brazauskas of the LDDP remains vacant until March 1995. Two other mandates of LDDP are not filled in July and October 1995. As of March 1996 six more seats are not filled (5 LDDP, Sajudis 1 ), so that the Seimas with 133 deputies stopped the election period.

4 Sąjūdis MPs move to other fractions ( 2 Christian, 1 People's Union, 1 Independent ), the deputies of the Independence Party moves to Sąjūdis Group.

The second elections in independent Lithuania brought an overwhelming majority in favor of the former opposition, the Conservatives. Together with the Christian Democrats and the Liberals could form a stable majority government. Nevertheless, the government resigned in May 1999, at the height of the wave of privatization back after the newly elected President Valdas Adamkus, the majority opinion in the population following the Government Vagnorius has unofficially expressed his distrust. Vagnorius ' position was also weakened by disagreements with party leader Vytautas Landsbergis.

At the proposal of the President of that time very popular mayor of Vilnius, Rolandas Paksas, is elected by the Conservative Party by Parliament by a large majority as prime minister. However, it also occurs after a short reign in October 1999, back in the dispute over the privatization of the state oil refinery Mažeikių Nafta. His successor is his party colleague and chairman of the parliamentary group, Andrius Kubilius.

(*) In four constituencies must be repeated the election of October 1996. The necessary by-elections in March 1997, the Party of Poland wins one direct mandate, a second goes to the Center Union. In two constituencies, the required minimum turnout is missed by 40 % in the first ballot, the direct mandate (No. 10 - Naujoji Vilnia and No. 57 - Vilnius - Trakai ) therefore remains unoccupied. For the same reasons, the election of the direct mandate 26 ( Nevėžis ) fails in constituency No. in November 1998. In a further election in December 1997, the Conservatives lose a mandate to an Independent.

Government coalitions:

November 1996 - May 1999: Conservatives and Christian Democrats

May 1999 - October 1999: Conservative

November 1999 - October 2000: Conservative

  • Http://www.law.nyu.edu/eecr/vol8num3/constitutionwatch/lithuania.html

According to internal disputes between ex-prime minister and party leader Vagnorius Landsbergis and the controversial privatization of the state petroleum refinery Mažeikių Nafta, the Conservative party loses the elections and only comes on 9 mandates.

Although ( Social Democratic coalition A. Brazauskas '), formed by the two social democratic parties LSP and LDDP and the New Democracy and the Party of Russians with 51 mandates as the clear winner of the election is the election list A. Brazausko socialdemokratinė koalicija out, but it comes contrary to expectations, not to form a coalition with the social Liberals under Artūras Paulauskas. Instead, Liberals and Social Liberals form a government, Rolandas Paksas, now entered from the Conservative Party from and to the Liberal Union, for the second time Prime Minister.

After disagreements between the two parties on economic policy, in particular the further privatization of state enterprises, the Social Liberals announce in June 2001 to a coalition with the Social Democrats and form a new government. New prime minister Algirdas Brazauskas.

Government coalitions:

November 2000 - June 2001: Liberal Union, Social Liberal, Centre Union, Contemporary Christian, Poland Party

July 2001 - October 2004: Social Democrats, Social Liberals, New Democracy

After numerous ups party ahead of the elections and great popular discontent with the still, despite economic recovery poorly respected parties it comes to the victory of the newly founded populist Labor Party under the leadership of Viktor Uspaskich. After this dispenses with the Office of the Prime Minister ( and is content with the Ministry of Economy), clearing the way for a coalition with the Social Democrats / Social Liberals, with a joint election list A. Brazausko ir A. Paulausko koalicija 'IP darba Lietuvai " the (A. Brazauskas ' and A. Paulauskas ' coalition " working for Lithuania " ) were begun.

The coalition breaks after only one and a half years to the affairs around Uspaskich, a self-made entrepreneur who is seen very critical also due to his Russian origin in the political establishment in Lithuania. The Labour Party, founded by him, but no longer run leaves the ruling coalition. Previously, some members of the Labor Party who founded the party of the citizen democracy that has to a tolerated by the Conservative minority government led by the Social Democrats part. In April 2006, the Social Liberals, have left the government after the successful vote of no confidence against their leader, the incumbent Speaker of Parliament Paulauskas, which was also supported by many members of the ruling coalition.

As an example of the numerous faction change during a legislative session:

Faction of the Labor Party in the Seimas:

In the same period, the Socialist Group has increased from 20 to 38 members (! )

Furthermore, the liberal group splits: 9 MPs form the " Liberal Union " foundation for the newly formed Party of the Liberal movement.

Government coalitions:

November 2004 - June 2006: Labor Party, Social Democrats, Social Liberal, Agrarian Party, Poland Party

July 2006 - Dec 2008: Social Democrats, Peasant Party, Civil Democracy ( removal of the Labor Party ), Poland Party, Liberal ( after cleavage of the Liberal movement still 9 seats),

The election to the Seimas took place in two rounds, on 12 and 26 October 2008 ( ballot to the 68 not yet assigned in the first ballot, direct mandates ). The results revealed a significant loss of the outgoing government parties in favor of the Conservatives. Three of the four parties in the ruling coalition, the Social Liberal Party, the Agrarian Party and the Democratic Party, failed clear the 5% hurdle and moved only direct mandates ( 3 for the Peasant Party, 1 for the Social Liberal Party ) in parliament. Discontent with the ( party ) political system in large parts of the population ( keyword: corruption and self-interest of parliamentarians / parties ) was again clearly visible: from the state was the party only half a year previously founded and run by political newcomers of the Resurrection of the people on 15 % of the votes and became (after voting share ) for the second-strongest political force in Lithuania.

Immediately after the election, four parties of the liberal- conservative spectrum had given their willingness to form a coalition known: in addition to the election winner Homeland Union ( Conservatives), the Liberal and Centre Union, the Liberal Movement and the newly represented in Parliament People's resurrection party. The coalition negotiations were successfully launched in late November to a conclusion.

Shown in parentheses: the number of constituency seats won (total: 71).

With the constitution of the Parliament on 17 November, two of the Group of Independent People's resurrection party joined, one of the Liberal and Centre Union and the Social Democrats. The three deputies of the Party of Poland joined the faction of the Party in order and justice. The coalition now has 83 seats. In May 2009, the government majority grew with the accession of the Socialist-Liberal Member of Parliament TPP fraction by another voice.

The parliamentary elections took place on 14 October 2012, and on 28 October 2012.

Government coalition:

Since December 2012: Social Democrats ( former Communists ), Liberal Democrats, Darbo partija, LLRA

Prime Minister: Algirdas Butkevičius