Lithuanian parliamentary election, 2004
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politics and government of
Parliamentary elections were held in Lithuania on 10 October 2004. They were won by the newly founded Labour Party and the ruling coalition of Social Democratic Party of Lithuania and New Union (Social Liberals). Lithuanians went to the polls in the country's first parliamentary election since joining NATO and the European Union in May 2004.
In all twenty political parties contested the elections. Some 1 193 candidates stood in the 70 constituencies where the vote was proportional while some 607 stood in the 71 remaining single-member constituencies. A second round ballot was scheduled to take place on 24 October in those of the 67 constituencies where no candidate received more than half the vote.
Public opinion polls indicated that the Labour Party, founded in 2003 and headed by a wealthy Russian-born businessman Viktor Uspaskich, was likely to emerge as the largest group in the Seimas. The governing left-wing coalition "Working for Lithuania" of the Social Democrat and Social Liberal parties led by Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas and Seimas Speaker Arturas Paulauskas was predicted to come in second followed by the Homeland Union and the Liberal and Centre Union.
During the electoral campaign Mr. Uspaskich promised higher living standards and war on political corruption. His party's message was welcomed in rural areas where people felt they had been left behind by surging prosperity in the cities and among many urban voters who declared corruption to be their number one concern. The ruling coalition campaigned on the results of its three and a half years spent in power - a record in longevity in independent Lithuania's history. The ruling coalition promised a number of social measures such as an increase in the average salary and retirement pensions over the next four years. Both coalition parties also promised to lower the unemployment rate to 8 per cent and to increase the Lithuanian GDP by a third so that it would represent 60 per cent of the European average by 2008. On the conservative side the Homeland Union emphasised the need for a strong State to protect Lithuania from any possible threat from Russia.
Turnout was low with only 46.08 per cent of registered voters casting ballots, but well above the 25 per cent threshold required to make the vote valid.
The results of the first round of elections showed that the Labour Party had polled about 28 per cent of the vote, obtaining 22 of the 70 seats distributed by proportional election and one seat from a single-seat constituency. The coalition "Working for Lithuania" came in second, gaining slightly more than 20 per cent of the vote for 16 of the seats elected proportionally and 3 seats in the majority system. Homeland Union obtained nearly 15 per cent of the proportional vote, winning 11 seats in the nationwide constituency. The "For the Order and Justice" coalition, headed by the recently deposed President Rolandas Paksas and formed by the Liberal Democratic Party and the Lithuanian People's Union "For the Fair Lithuania", gained 11 per cent and 9 seats. The Liberal and Centre Union polled 9 per cent and gained 7 seats, while the Union of Farmers' Party and New Democracy Party coalition polled nearly 7 per cent and obtained 5 seats.
In 66 constituencies where no candidate had obtained the required majority voters returned to the polls on 24 October 2004. In this second round the Labour Party obtained 16 seats while the Homeland Union won 14 and the coalition "Working for Lithuania" 12. The Liberal and Centre Union obtained 11 seats the Union of Farmers' Party and New Democracy Party 5 while the Coalition "For the Order and Justice" and the Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action one seat each. Six independent candidates also gained seats.
|Party or alliance||Proportional||Constituency||Total
|Working for Lithuania||Social Democratic Party of Lithuania||246,852||20.7||16||17.6||15||20|
|New Union (Social Liberals)||11|
|Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives)||176,409||14.8||11||14.4||14||25|
|For the Order and Justice||Liberal Democratic Party||135,807||11.3||9||8.4||1||10|
|Lithuanian People's Union For a Fair Lithuania|
|Liberal and Centre Union||109,872||9.2||7||12.4||11||18|
|Peasants and New
Democratic Party Union
|Lithuanian Peasants Party||78,902||6.6||5||7.7||5||10|
|New Democracy Party|
|Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania||45,302||3.8||0||4.5||2||2|
|Christian Conservative Social Union||23,426||1.9||0||1.9||0||0|
|Lithuanian Christian Democrats||16,362||1.4||0||2.5||0||0|
|National Centre Party||5,989||0.5||0||0||0|
|Union of Lithuanian Socialists||3,977||0.3||0||0||0|
|Lithuanian Liberty Union||3,337||0.3||0||0.2||0||0|
|National Party Lithuanian Road||2,577||0.2||0||0.5||0||0|
|Lithuanian Nationalist Union||2,482||0.2||0||0||0|
|Lithuanian Russian Union||–||–||–||0.2||0||0|
|Source: Nohlen & Stöver, Strathclyde University, VRK|
- Inter-Parliamentary Union , 2004.
- The Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania (English) (Lithuanian)
- SILBA EOM mission to Lithuania - Kaunas (English) (Lithuanian)
- Inter-Parliamentary Union Report on 2004 Elections
- 2000 Elections to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 2004