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Published: 28 october 2012 23:38

Labour Party's Viktor Uspaskich: Social Democrat Algirdas Butkevičius likely to be next Prime Minister

Viktoras Uspaskichas
Luko Balandžio nuotr. / Viktor Uspaskich

Viktor Uspaskich, leader of Lithuania's Labour Party, says the results of the run-off ballot in Seimas elections will most likely make Algirdas Butkevičius, leader of the Social Democratic Party, the country's next prime minister.

"The results show that Butkevičius will most likely become prime minister," Uspaskich said on Sunday evening. His party, the Social Democrats, and the Order and Justice Party made a preliminary agreement after the first round of voting to form a coalition.

According to preliminary results, the Social Democratic Party can expect to add 22 mandates to their 16 seats won two weeks ago. The conservative Homeland Union also fared much better in the run-offs, with 20 more candidates likely to win seats, bringing the total number of conservative MPs to 33. The Labour Party is expected to get 12, in addition to 18 seats won two weeks ago, making it the third biggest party in the future parliament with 30 seats.

Uspaskich said he is scheduled to meet with Butkevičius and Rolandas Paksas, leader of the Order and Justice Party, on Sunday night and discuss further cooperation.

"I think that we’ll meet. The one who gets more votes will have to choose the location and set the table," Uspaskich said.

Asked about the Labor Party's chances of working in a coalition with right-wing parties, Uspaskich said he could not say for sure.

"I will definitely not answer this question as the Social Democrats, the Order and Justice Party, and the Labour Party have an agreement. We are not changing our directions in this situation," he said.

Uspaskich also said he would renounce his MEP position for a ministerial post but the opportunity to implement the Labour Party's programme is the key precondition.

Meanwhile Vytautas Gapšys, head of the Labour Party's election campaign, said he hoped the largest ruling party Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats would not be part of a new ruling coalition.

"I hope nobody will have to do that," he said, asked about an opportunity to work with the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

But, he added, he has no power to hold coalition talks as the party's leader Uspaskich is in charge of that.

Earlier in the day, Eligijus Masiulis, Lithuania's transport minister and leader of the Liberal Movement, said the Social Democrats or the Labour Party might join the Liberal Movement's coalition with the conservatives.

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