bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 03.12.2016 | Name days: Raita, Jogita, Evija
LithuaniaLithuania

Lithuania: party leaders face scrutiny with Seimas election nearer

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+2 of 2)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Gabrielius Landsbergis

Linas Jegelevicius for the BNN

The U.S. presidential race is clearly reverberating overseas in a tiny Lithuania, readying for the parliamentary elections in early October. With the Americans scaling Donald Trump, the Republican nominee in the race, whether he is fit or unfit to be a new President of the United States, some Lithuanian analysts started likewise  weighing the leaders of the Lithuanian political parties whether they can be entrusted reins of a new Lithuanian government.

TS-LKD leader fits best

First it was Albinas Januška, the signatory of the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, who speaking to the national broadcaster lrt.lt made a guess that Gabrielius Landsbergis, the chairman of the Homeland Union- Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), known as Lithuanian conservatives, stands the best chances for the post.

«The scandal that shook up Liberals (the party’s leader Eligijus Masiulis faces bribery charges-L.J.) plays into hand of TS-LKD, which now can collect parliamentary seats in single-mandate constituencies (in which the Liberal candidates were expected to win -L.J.). And it is big now,» Januška said.

The candidacy of Gabrielius Landsbergis, the grandson of Vytautas Landsbergis, the architect of Lithuania’s modern-time politics, for premiership just a couple of months ago seemed «surrealistic», he suggested.

«As the party has been climbing in the polls, now the possibility seems a lot more real. They can possibly form a new government with the peasants (Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LVŽS)-L.J.), liberals and somebody else,» the signatory said, adding, «But as half of the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament-L.J.) consists of MPs elected in single-mandate electoral districts, social democrats stand a chance, too, if they show good election results.»

Januška, however, emphasized that not political analysts but the country’s prosecutors are in the best position to make precise forecasts on the election results.

«They are resolvedly now shuffling Lithuania’s political system,» he underscored.

Landsbergis junior lacks experience

Disagreeing on junior Landsbergis, Jūratė Novagrockienė, political scientist at General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, says that the TS-LKD standard-bearer has to obtain more political experience first.

«He has jumped into the politics very swiftly. The fact that he has served as a euro-parliamentarian in Brussels counts little when it comes to accruing experience in national politics. Namely because of the little political experience on the home stage it is too early for him to be a Prime Minister. Wherever the formation of a new coalition takes to, a more solid candidate is necessary,» she says.

Considering Gabrielius Landsbergis for premiership, the party’s inner groups and their interests have to be taken into consideration, as well as the new Coalition partners’ demands, she pointed out.

«And finally, tribute to the party seniors has to be paid. There have been certain blunders within the Conservative Party, so taking into account all, any dissatisfaction (over Gabrielius Landsbergis as PM) within it can stymie the new coalition later; especially that it if such is not a stable entity, just because it encompasses different interests and different party personalities. I think the entirety of the factors is not in favour of Gabrielius Landsbergis as a potential new premier,» Novagrockienė underlined.

Peasants may lead the band

Asked who has the best chance to orchestrate the post-election coalition, she pointed to the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union (LVŽS).

«They are certainly aware of it, so whoever they will be talking to after the elections and whoever will be talking to them, the party holds an advantage over the rest. It does seem that they can be a very attractive partner for a new coalition and can therefore dictate their conditions,» the analyst believes.

However, it is still too premature to extrapolate what parties will be engaged in coalition formation talks, she cautions.

«The results can turn out to be rather unexpected and may not reflect the ratings we are seeing now. There are still many people who do not know who they will vote for. And liberals, and conservatives and peasants and greens can notch up a lot more votes than the ratings suggest them now. And certainly the social democrats’ possibilities in single-mandate districts are not bad,» the analyst claimed.

Similar party election programmes

Approached by BNN, Linas Kojala, the new Director of Vilnius-based Eastern Europe studies centre, underscored that, unlike in the US presidential race, where the candidates are starkly different, the leaders of the most Lithuanian parties are pretty similar.

«What makes the pick-up of a new premier difficult is that party election programmes lack major differences. Therefore, it is hard for the voters to understand what alternatives, if any, the parties and their respective leaders offer,» the analyst pointed out.

Still, Kojala believes that Ramūnas Karbauskis, the chairman of LVŽS has to prove a lot more as a top-tier politician than the rest party leaders.

«As a party leader, he is unfamiliar to many and the party he chairs, LVŽS, is new in the Lithuanian political landscape, too. So from that standpoint, both the party and the leader has to exhibit what the party stands for and what is all about,» Kojala said.

As for Gabrielius Landsbergis, he says the TS-LKD leader signifies change- rejuvenation – in national politics and, therefore, he can attract many younger voters who want the young generation to have a firmer say in politics.

«His young age, novel ideas he is preaching, insistence on the necessity of rejuvenation, as well as the niche left for the conservatives by the embattled liberals after the fall of their leader- all of the factors are in favour of Landsbergis,» the analyst believes.

Some factors more important

Although it’s way too early to predict winners and losers of the election, one of the factors stands out in formation of a new government.

«I mean which party will gain most seats in the new legislature. Whatever the party it appears to be, it will be in a position to start new coalition formation talks,» Kojala underlined. «I’d say we may end up seeing three or even four parties with the votes spread evenly among them. In that case, having a couple of more seats will give the party an edge.»

And if the social democrats gain a mathematical majority in the new Seimas, it will be Algirdas Butkevičius who will continue being PM.

«The social democratic government sometimes lacked determination in tackling issues it was facing, as well as clearer strategic goals. In the context, it would be interesting to observe Butkevičius, whether he would do anything differently in a new government,» the analyst said.

Reflecting on the recent polls lining up social democrats, peasants and conservatives on top, Kojala reasons the parties will likely drift to October 8, the election day, with the support they have now.

«But note that conservatives and social democrats can be misrepresented in the polls, as they do not heed the strong base that both parties have. The turn-up of Conservatives at the voting booths is usually higher than the polls predict,» Kojala noted.

«No 1 question is what party will come out as the election’s winner. And what party will garner most seats in single-mandate districts. The two factors will be key in forming a new ruling coalition,» he emphasized.

Ref: 020/111.111.111.3950


Leave a reply

Following an investment of 3.3 million, K-rauta becomes K Senukai

On Friday, 2 December, Baltics’ largest construction, repair and household goods store network Kesko Senukai opened its first new concept shopping centre K Senukai in Riga, Lucavsalas Street. This venture cost the company EUR 3.3 million.

Saeima deputies allocated record-large amount of money for «friend projects»

The money of Latvia’s budget for next year allocated not with the intention to solve problems in priority industries but rather to satisfy desires of certain politicians and their lobby groups has reached an astonishing new peak – EUR 27.9 million, according to estimates, as reported by Ir.

Income from foreign travellers in Latvia declines

In Q3 2016, Latvia’s current account had a surplus of EUR 93.4 million or 1.5% of GDP, notes Bank of Latvia economist Linda Vecgaile.

airBaltic to sell Boeing 737 after replacing them with Bombardier CS300

Latvian national airBaltic airline intends to gradually update its fleet with Bombardier CS300 aircraft. The airline plans to sell its owned Boeing 737, says Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic.

Numbers of active voters in Latvia continue to decline before next year’s elections

47% of Latvian vote-ready citizens plan to take part in next year’s municipal elections, according to results of a survey carried out by SKDS following a request from the Central Election Commission in November.

BATL: transit industry’s potential is enormous, but not used to its fullest

Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics is satisfied that real and constructive work has commenced in cooperation with LDz Logistics and Transport and Communications Institute on Latvia’s transport and logistics, including the development of a strategy for the transit industry.

Ominous milestone: one-millionth Lithuanian to leave soon

The statisticians claim that, every day, 120 Lithuanians hop onto Scandinavia and Western Europe-bound planes in search of a better life. This month, Lithuania is likely to reach an ominous and heart-wrenching milestone with the country‘s émigré number expected to go over one million. To calm down the naysayers, the estimate is unofficial.

Snowy weekends expected in Latvia

The first days of December will go by under influence from a cyclone. Because of that, many regions of the country are expected to experience snowfall. Rain is only expected along the coast. Ice is expected to form as a result and visibility will likely reduce because of snowfall.

Three European cities plan to ban diesel cars

Looking for ways to improve their quality of air, the mayors of Madrid, Paris and Athens have on December 1 expressed readiness to introduce bans on cars and trucks with diesel engines by 2025.

French President Hollande refuses to run for re-election

France’s President François Hollande has unexpectedly announced that he would not run for re-election to the post.

Several hundred Estonian reserve soldiers summoned to unexpected drills

The cabinet of ministers of Estonia ordered on December 1 to hold snap military drills to test the ability of reserve troops to reach combat readiness in 24 hours.

Freight turnover and freight traffic declines at ports

Compared to Q3 2015, the volume of freights carried by land and pipeline transport has decreased by 1.8 million tonnes or 5.5 % in Q3 2016. The most notable drop in the volume of freights carried was recorded in rail transport – of 2.3 million tonnes or 18.9 %.

EU 2017 budget to provide the most support to youth and growth initiatives

In the next year’s budget, members of the European Parliament have secured larger support to unemployed youngsters and Erasmus+, as well as initiatives for support of small and medium-sized businesses, transport infrastructure projects and research. Commitment appropriations for 2017 total EUR 157.8578 billion, and payment appropriations EUR 134.49 billion.

Vejonis picks Kalnins as candidate for NAF commander

President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis has decided to propose National Armed Forces Joint Staff Chief Leonids Kalnins for the post of commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces. Kalnins was previously proposed by Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis, according to information from LETA.

Europol releases its Christmas calendar of EU’s most wanted criminals

European Union’s police body Europol has engaged in the often commercial pre-festive period by releasing Christmas advent calendar that will reveal one of bloc’s most wanted criminals every day up until Christmas.

Expert: Latvia’s real estate market is sick

In medical terms, Latvia’s real estate market is currently sick. It will only recover once all transactions are carried out using actual market price and those whose expectations are overestimated – drop out, said real estate specialist, member of Latvian Real Estate Association and board member of Real State Jurmala Igors Danilevics.

Prime Minister: Latvia’s economic growth is not as fast as it was expected in 2015

«Looking at national economy’s growth dynamics in 2016, we have noticed drastically different ratings. On the one hand, there are positive statistics that prove Latvia’s economic growth continues. It is not as fast as it was expected in 2015. It is expected that growth will continue in the future. A few days ago opinions of multiple banking experts appeared in the public space, saying that wage growth in Latvia will speed up next year. I would associate that with the government’s decisions and the Saeima’s approved budget for 2017,» – said Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

Estonia’s coalition distances itself from charges against ruling party

The coalition partners of Estonia’s Centre Party, which is headed by the Estonian Prime Minister, have this week distanced themselves from charges brought against the ruling party for allegedly receiving illegal political donations.

Finland’s Prime Minister blamed for attempts to limit press freedom

The Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä has denied allegations that he has attempted to affect, how press covers allegations against him and his relatives.

Restrictions for alimony avoiders and other decisions viewed by the Saeima

On Thursday, 1 December, the Saeima will decide on the new Subsistence Guarantee Fund Law. This law states that driving rights can be revoked for alimony avoiders.

OPEC oil exporters agree to reduce oil output to increase price

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on November 30 for the first time since 2008 to reduce oil supply in an attempt to make global oil prices grow. The organisatrion’s head Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada stated that a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day would start from January

Tragic dormitory fire in Turkey

Police in southern Turkey has detained six people after 11 pupils and a teacher died in a dorm fire.

Tick encephalitis infection cases increased by one-third in Latvia this year

Cold November forced ticks to enter hibernation. There is reason to believe tick activity in Latvia has ended for this year, admits entomologist Voldemars Spungis.

PHOTO: world’s first Bombardier CS300 aircraft arrives in Riga

On Wednesday, 30 November, Latvian airBaltic airline welcomed the world’s first Bombardier CS300 aircraft in Riga.

Retail trade turnover in Latvia up 0.2%

Compared to October 2015, total retail trade turnover rose by 0.2 % in October 2016. Turnover of retail trade in food products decreased by 2.7 %, whereas the turnover of retail trade in non-food products increased by 2.0 %.

Newest comments