2000 Lithuanian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Lithuania on 8 October 2000. All 141 seats in the Seimas were up for election, 71 of them in single-seat constituencies based on first-past-the-post voting; the remaining 70, in a nationwide constituency based on proportional representation. Altogether, around 700 candidates competed in the single-seat constituencies, while over 1,100 candidates were included in the electoral lists for the nationwide constituency.[1]

2000 Lithuanian parliamentary election
Lithuania
← 1996 8 October 2000 2004 →

All 141 seats in the Seimas
71 seats needed for a majority
Turnout58.63% Increase 5.71 pp
Party Leader % Seats +/–
SDK[a] Algirdas Brazauskas 31.08 51 +26
NS Artūras Paulauskas 19.64 29 New
LLS Rolandas Paksas 17.25 34 +33
TS Vytautas Landsbergis 8.62 9 -61
KDS Kazys Bobelis 4.19 1 0
LVP Ramūnas Karbauskis 4.08 4 +3
LKDP Zigmas Zinkevičius 3.07 2 -14
LCS Romualdas Ozolas 2.86 2 -12
NKS Gediminas Vagnorius 2.01 1 New
LLRA Valdemar Tomaševski 1.95 2 +1
LLS Vytautas Šustauskas 1.27 1 +1
JL Stanislovas Buškevičius 1.15 1 0
MKD Vytautas Bogušis 1 New
Independents 3 -1
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
AndriusKubilius.jpg Andrius Kubilius
TS
Rolandas Paksas
LLS
Paksas March 2003 (cropped).jpg

BackgroundEdit

In 1996 Lithuanian parliamentary election the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Conservatives won 70 seats. They formed a coalition with second-place Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party. By 1998 Lithuania was hit Russian finansial crisis, which (along with the conflicts between ruling coalition, Prime Ministers Gediminas Vagnorius and Rolandas Paksas and President of Republic Valdas Adamkus) caused two replacements of government.

Economic turmoil caused decline of support of main parties (the Homeland Union and the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania). The other parties that benefited from aforementioned parties were the Liberal Union of Lithuania (especially after Paksas became its leader) and the New Union (Social Liberals). In municipal elections of 2000, these two parties combined won 30.67 per cent of the vote, while the Homeland Union and the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania together won 17.74 per cent of the votes.

As response to this situation, the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania, the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania and the New Democracy Party formed electoral coalition in July 2000 with Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas as its candidate to the Prime Minister. The Homeland Union formed alliance with the Political Prisoners and Deportees Union of Lithuania.[2][3]

Electoral systemEdit

The 141 members of the Seimas were elected by parallel voting; 70 were elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency, with 71 elected by first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies. Previously members from the single-member constituencies had been elected using the two-round system, but the electoral system was changed prior to the elections to scrap the second round and allow members to be elected by plurality.[4] These changes had been introduced by the Homeland Union and passed by the Seimas on 19 July 2000. Although President Valdas Adamkus vetoed the Act, the veto was overturned and the changes had been implemented.[5]

Opinion pollsEdit

Graph of opinion polls conducted

ResultsEdit

Only four party and coalition lists passed five per cent threshold. The Social Democratic coalition of former President Algirdas Brazauskas received the largest share of the popular vote in the nationwide constituency (31 per cent) and won the most seats in the Seimas (51 seats), but short of the 71 seats needed for the majority. New Union (Social Liberals), led by Artūras Paulauskas, came second in the nationwide constituency (19.64 per cent), winning 29 seats in the parliament. The centre-right Liberal Union, led by the Mayor of Vilnius and former Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas, became as the largest single party in the parliament, with 34 seats and 17.25 per cent of the vote in the nationwide constituency. The possible "New Politics" Coalition (consisting Liberal Union, New Union (Social Liberals), Lithuanian Centre Union and Modern Christian-Democratic Union) won 66 seats, but it too came short of absolute majority.

The Homeland Union, which had led the government for the previous four years, performed poorly in the elections, receiving only 8.62 per cent of the vote and winning eight seats, down from more than 30% of the vote and 70 seats in the previous elections. Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and many other prominent ministers were beaten in their constituencies. In the electoral campaign dominated by economic issues, the party was punished by voters for the economic recession and high unemployment, as well as its austerity policy. The Social Democratic coalition, on the other hand, had promised the end to austerity, including lower taxes and higher social spending.[1]

 
Party Nationwide constituency Single-member constituencies Total
seats
+/–
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Social-Democratic
Coalition of
Algirdas Brazauskas "Let's work together"
Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania 457,294 31.08 12 156,354 10.66 14 26 +14
Social Democratic Party of Lithuania 12 120,672 8.23 7 19 +7
Union of the Russians of Lithuania 3 4,446 0.3 0 3 +3
New Democracy Party 1 12,454 0.85 2 3 +2
New Union (Social Liberals)[a] 288,895 19.64 17 225,878 15.41 11 28 New
Liberal Union of Lithuania[a] 253,823 17.25 15 229,438 15.65 18 33 +32
Homeland Union – Lithuanian Conservatives[b] 126,850 8.62 7 104,631 7.14 1 8 –62
Christian Democratic Union 61,583 4.19 0 33,221 2.27 1 1 0
Lithuanian Peasants Party 60,040 4.08 0 96,853 6.61 4 4 +3
Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party 45,227 3.07 0 69,827 4.76 2 2 –14
Lithuanian Centre Union 42,030 2.86 0 89,837 6.13 2 2 –11
Union of Moderate Conservatives 29,615 2.01 0 42,116 2.87 1 1 New
Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania 28,641 1.95 0 40,376 2.75 2 2 +1
Lithuanian People's Union "For Just Lithuania" 21,583 1.47 0 5,323 0.36 0 0 0
Lithuanian Liberty Union 18,622 1.27 0 23,202 1.58 1 1 0
Union of Young Lithuania, New Nationalists and Political Prisoners[c] 16,941 1.15 0 16,729 1.14 1 1 0
Lithuanian
Nationalist Union
Lithuanian Nationalists Union 12,884 0.88 0 5,567 0.38 0 0 0
Lithuanian Liberty League 4,685 0.32 0 0 0
Lithuanian Party "Social Democracy – 2000" 7,219 0.49 0 32,336 2.21 0 0 New
Modern Christian-Democratic Union[a] 17,929 1.22 1 3 New
Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees 8,495 0.58 0 1 0
Homeland People's Party 7,038 0.48 0 0 New
National Democratic Party of Lithuania 5,082 0.35 0 0 New
Lithuanian Democratic Party[c] 3,323 0.23 0 0 –2
Lithuanian Socialist Party 1,701 0.12 0 0 0
Republican Party 1,380 0.09 0 0 0
Lithuanian Justice Party 515 0.04 0 0 0
Independents 106,806 7.28 3 3 –1
Invalid/blank votes 68,496 4.44 72,585 4.77
Total 1,539,743 100 70 1,466,214 100 71 141
Registered voters/turnout 2,626,321 58.63 2,626,321 58.63
Source: University of Essex

a Two Modern Christian-Democratic Union candidates were elected in the nationwide constituency, having run on the lists of the New Union (Social Liberals) and the Liberal Union of Lithuania.

b One Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees candidate was elected in the nationwide constituency, having run on the list of the Homeland Union.

c Candidates of Lithuanian Democratic Party ran on the list of the Union of Young Lithuania, New Nationalists and Political Prisoners.[6]

AnalysisEdit

 
Distribution by parties

Social Democratic coalition won most votes in most of Lithuania. Kaunas and Vilnius were narrowly won by the Liberal Union of Lithuania, while New Union (Social Liberals) got the most votes in Trakai, Širvintos, Varėna, Kėdainiai and, to lesser extent, Vilnius districts.[7] In these municipalities Liberal Union and New Union had their best performances in municipal elections of 2000.

AftermathEdit

After disastrious results leaders of the Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party and the Lithuanian Centre Union, Algirdas Saudargas and Romualdas Ozolas, respectively, tendered resignations from their positions. Poor results would also affect other minor parties. Homeland People's Party leader Laima Liucija Andrikienė proposed merger of all center-right parties.[8] It would happen gradually from 2001 to 2008, when the Homeland Union (which received their worst result ever in these elections) would merge with most them. Poor results also caused disintegration of the Lithuanian Centre Union, which would merge with the Liberal Union of Lithuania in 2003.

Government formationEdit

The Liberal Union, the New Union (Social Liberals), the Centre Union, the Modern Christian Democrats and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania formed a coalition after the election (these parties combined and two MPs, who joined New Union's parliamentary group, had 68 members), with Rolandas Paksas appointed as the new Prime Minister and Artūras Paulauskas elected as the Speaker of the Seimas.[1] The coalition was not long-lasting and collapsed in June 2001 amid disagreements over privatisation and other reforms.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Social-Democratic Coalition of Algirdas Brazauskas, coalition between LDDP, LSDP, LRS and NDP
  1. ^ a b c Elections held in 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  2. ^ "Artėjant rinkimams, partijos galanda savo dantis".
  3. ^ "V.Landsbergis siūlo tenkintis ir šešėliu".
  4. ^ "The Lithuanian Electoral System". Baltic Voices. Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Strathclyde. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  5. ^ Sklando idėja grąžinti antrąjį balsavimo turą (9) Delfi, 13 October 2003
  6. ^ 2000 Parliamentary Elections University of Essex
  7. ^ https://vrk.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?layers=44656569b7c1496ba59b623d3f626df1
  8. ^ "Tėvynės liaudies partija kur naują partijų bloką".
  9. ^ "Brazauskas returns as Lithuanian PM". BBC. 3 July 2001. Retrieved 18 December 2015.

External linksEdit