Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union on the verge of power
The Peasant and Green Union (LVZS) party are neck-and-neck with the centre-right in the battle to be the biggest party in the Lithuanian parliament.
Of the 70 seats allocated on a national proportional basis, LVZS have won 19 to the main centre-right party’s 20 and the centre-left’s 13.
This is a huge increase in support from the last parliamentary elections in 2012, where the LVZS won just one seat with 4% of the vote.
The second half of the parliament’s seats will be allocated on October 23, elected in single-seat constituencies, similar to Britain’s general elections.
Preliminary results in these constituency elections suggest that LVZS and the centre-right are neck-and-neck, with LVZS ahead in 21 and the centre-right ahead in 22.
The leader of the LVZS has said he would be prepared to form a coalition with both the centre-right and centre-left.
The leader of the centre-right on the other hand, has said a coalition with the centre-left is “hardly possible” and he would rather work with LVZS and the smaller centre-right party, the Liberals.
The ruling centre-left party has suffered from scandals and the introduction of a new labour code, which makes it easier to hire and fire employees.
According to Bloomberg, the LVZS campaigned for less red-tape and a more technocratic government.
Rebecca Harms, the president of the Greens in the European Parliament, tweeted her congratulations to the LVZS, which is a member of the Green European group although the LVZS is thought of as centrist whereas the European Greens are more left-wing.
The LVZS was formed as the Peasant and New Democratic Party Union in 2006, named after a pre-war centre-left political party. It changed its name to include “Greens” in 2012.