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Published: 28 october 2012 12:40

Lithuania holds run-off ballot in Seimas elections

Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Elections

Lithuanians go to polling stations on Sunday to take part in the second round of voting in the Seimas elections, with 134 candidates running for parliament in 67 single-member constituencies.

According to preliminary results, the Social Democratic Party can expect 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 candidates likely to win seats (in addition to 13 secured previously). The Labour Party is expected to get 12, in addition to 18 seats won two weeks ago.

Voter turn-out in the second round of voting in Lithuania's general elections was much lower compared to the first round.

Based on figures from all 1,861 polling districts, 30.02 percent of all eligible voters have cast their ballots on SUnday.

4.92 percent voted early, at special post offices and at home in the second round, compared to 5.51 percent in the first round.

Turn-out in the first round of voting was 52.93 percent.

The highest turn-out was in Vilnius – around 35-37 percent, and the lowest is in the south of the country (22-39 percent).

Voter turnout is traditionally lower during run-off voting. Over 48 percent of voters voted in the first round of voting in the 2008 Seimas elections, and over 32 percent voted in the run-offs.

Polling districts are open from 7 AM until 8 PM. Some voters were able to take part in early voting at municipalities as well as vote at home and special post offices earlier this week.

35 candidates of the Labour Party and the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, 28 candidates of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, nine candidates of the Path of Courage party, seven candidates of the Order and Justice Party, six candidates from the Liberal Movement and the Electoral Action of Poles, 4 independent candidates, as well as two candidates from the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union and the Liberal and Center Union are running for parliament in the run-offs.

The second round of voting is not taking place in three single-member constituencies where members of the Seimas were elected during the first round and Zarasai-Visaginas constituency where the voting results of the first round were invalidated. New elections in the constituency will take place no later than in six months.

The MPs elected in the first round of voting include Social Democrat Algirdas Butkevičius who was elected in Vilkaviškis, Labour Party's Regina Baltraitienė (Kėdainiai), and Leonard Talmont of the Electoral Action of Poles (Vilnius–Šalčininkai).

Ex-president hopes for wiser decisions

Lithuania's former president Valdas Adamkus said Sunday he was expecting wiser and better decisions from the new parliament, emphasizing that continuity was vital for progress of the state.

"I am glad that this Seimas has closed the book of its work and hope that the new one will be changed, it will bring more wiser, more useful and better bills for all people of Lithuania," Adamkus said after casting his ballot in Saulėtekis, a neighborhood in the outskirts of Vilnius.

The ex-president said that continuity was "crucial for any country that wants to move forward."

He also expressed hope that the second round of voting would be more transparent than the first round two weeks ago.

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