Homeland Union

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Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats

Tėvynės sąjunga – Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai
AbbreviationTS–LKD
ChairmanGabrielius Landsbergis
First Vice ChairwomanIrena Degutienė
Vice ChairpeopleAdomas Bužinskas
Dainius Kreivys
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė
Monika Navickienė
Executive SecretaryMartynas Prievelis
Founded1 May 1993 (1993-05-01)
Preceded bySąjūdis
HeadquartersJ. Jasinskio g. 17, Vilnius
Youth wingYoung Conservative League
Membership14,243 (2018)[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[6][7][8]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
ColoursTurquoise (parliamentary group; since 2020)[9]
Seimas
50 / 141
Cabinet of Lithuania
9 / 14
European Parliament
3 / 11
Municipal councils
279 / 1,461
Mayors
11 / 60
Website
http://www.tsajunga.lt

The Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (Lithuanian: Tėvynės sąjunga – Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai, TS–LKD) is a centre-right[6][7][8] political party in Lithuania. It has 18,000 members and 50 of 141 seats in the Seimas.

It is the main centre-right party, with an ideology influenced by liberal conservatism,[3] Christian democracy,[2] nationalism[4][10] and economic liberalism.[5] Its current leader is Gabrielius Landsbergis, who replaced Andrius Kubilius in 2015. It is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and the International Democrat Union (IDU).

The party symbol since 1996 is the common house martin.[11][12]

Platform[edit]

The Homeland Union is conservative. For most of its existence, it has explicitly defined itself as anti-communist (mainly because the main opposition party to the Homeland Union was the Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (which was created on a basis of the Communist Party of Lithuania in 1990)).

After the election of Gebrielius Landsbergis as leader of the party in 2015 (especially after 2017), the Homeland Union started to describe itself as the country's people's party (Lithuanian: liaudies partija) and moved more to a center-liberal direction, rebranding itself as a European moderate party.

History[edit]

Establishment, expansion, the first government and splits (1993–2000)[edit]

It was founded in May 1993 by the right wing of the Reform Movement of Lithuania, led by Vytautas Landsbergis, who had led Lithuania to independence. His supporter, former Prime Minister of Lithuania Gediminas Vagnorius, became party Board's chairman. Some members of Sąjūdis coalition, but not Sąjūdis itself (e. g. Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė), joined new party.

In December 1993, party's youth wing, Young Conservative League, was formed. In February 1994, the Homeland Union formed its own parliamentary group in Seimas.[13] Later that year, the Homeland Union established its branches in all of Lithuania. In the 1995 municipal election, in which the party stood for the first time, it got 28.76% of the vote and returned 428 councillors. In the 1996 national elections, it secured 31.3% of the vote and returned 70 deputies to the Seimas. After these elections, the party formed coalition government with the Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party (and received support from the Lithuanian Centre Union).[14]

After presidential election of 1997 and 1998, in which Vytautas Landsbergis came third, party's internal conflicts became pronounced. It led to the expulsion of Laima Liucija Andrikienė and Vidmantas Žiemelis from the party's board in late 1998 and their resignation from the party in 1999.

In 1999, conflicts started between the President Valdas Adamkus and the Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius (who also was the party's Board chairman), that involved party's leader Vytautas Landsbergis. Crisis (and resignation of Vagnorius) speeded up reorganisation of party structures. Most important of them was the merger of the Political Council and the Board, which produced centralized leadership. In 2000, Gediminas Vagnorius' supporters split and new party called the Union of Moderate Conservatives was formed.[15]

Yet another split was caused by the resignation of Rolandas Paksas (he replaced Gediminas Vagnorius as the Prime Minister and party's Board chairman), although most of the Rolandas Paksas' supporters moved to the Liberal Union of Lithuania in 1999 and 2000.

Back in opposition, consolidation and the second government (2000–2012)[edit]

In 2000, the Homeland Union was reduced to 8.6% and 9 deputies.[15] In 2001, idea of merge of all right wing parties was proposed by the Homeland People's Party. This proposal was accepted by the Homeland Union. In 2003 and 2004, it merged with the Right Union of Lithuania (which by itself was founded by former members of the Homeland Union and various minor parties) and the Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees respectively.[16][17]

In May 2003, new leader was elected, Andrius Kubilius, who prior this served as deputy leader of the party. Since 2003, the party started cooperating with the Liberal and Centre Union. The Homeland Union changed its logo (the Columns of Gediminids were replaced by green marlin's siloutte, which was similar to the logo used by the time of 1996 parliamentary election campaign).

After Lithuania's admission to the European Union in 2004, it won two seats in the election to the European Parliament, one of whom was Vytautas Landsbergis, who sat in the EPP-ED Group. At the 2004 election to the Seimas, the party won 14.6% of the popular vote and 25 out of 141 seats. After these elections, the Homeland Union proposed the Liberal and Centre Union a coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, but this didn't came to being.[18] Between 2006 and 2007, the party supported Gediminas Kirkilas-led government.

Until the merger with the Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees and the Right Union of Lithuania, it was known just as the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives). Prior to 2008 it was known as the Homeland Union (Conservatives, Political Prisoners and the Exiled, Christian Democrats) or TS. The last change of the name was a result of the merger with the Lithuanian Nationalist Union on 11 March 2008, and the Lithuanian Christian Democrats on 17 May 2008, after which the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats became Lithuania's largest party with more than 18,000 members. After these two mergers, youth wings of these parties (Young Nationalists Organisation and Young Christian Democrats) became the Homeland Union's youth wings.

At the 2008 legislative election, the Homeland Union won 19.69% of the national vote and 45 seats in the Seimas. Becoming the largest party in the Seimas, it formed a coalition government with the Liberal Movement, Liberal and Centre Union and the National Resurrection Party. Together, they held a majority of 80 out of 141 seats in the Seimas, and the Homeland Union's leader, Andrius Kubilius, became Prime Minister for a second time.[19]

In 2010, party's deputy chairman Vidmantas Žiemelis resigned from the party and joined Christian Party. It (along with the split in the National Resurrection Party parliamentary group) caused Kubilius–led government to become minority one.

In June 2011, the Lithuanian Nationalist Union declared its withdrawal from the party, although Nationalist faction remained in the Homeland Union.[20] In June 2012, Aurelija Stancikienė resigned from the party and joined the Way of Courage.

Opposition and the third government (from 2012)[edit]

Support for the party plummeted in the 2012 parliamentary election, and it was excluded from the government.[21] It was credited to many unpopular decisions made during the time of government, and the unpopularity of the Andrius Kubilius.[22] In 2014 European Parliament election, the party managed to defeat narrowly their main competitors, the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania. After 2015 municipal election, Andrius Kubilius resigned from party's leader position.

Subsequential leadership election was won by the Member of European Parliament (and former advisor of Andrius Kubilius) Gabrielius Landsbergis. Gabrielius Landsbergis initiated various changes in the party. Main change was that in large cities candidates to the Seimas were replaced with younger candidates, while older candidates moved rural constituencies (e. g. Rasa Juknevičienė stood in Aukštaitija single-member constituency instead of one in Žaliakalnis) or removed altogether (e. g. Arimantas Dumčius was expelled for remarks over Adolf Hitler's economic policy).[23][24]

Between 2014 and 2016 the party was competing on the centre-right political wing with the Liberal Movement, but due to the so-called MG Baltic corruption scandal in May 2016, the Liberal Movement lost about half of its support.[25] As a result of the scandal, the Homeland Union's support slightly increased at the 2016 legislative election (and it overtook the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union by 0.18 per cent), but, due to failure to win more single-member seats in Seimas, the number of seats held by the party fell to 31.

After these elections, various pundits claimed that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union could form coalition with the Homeland Union,[26] but leader of Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union Ramūnas Karbauskis proposed wide coalition between aforementionted parties and the Social Democratic Party. The Homeland Union's leader Gabrielius Landsbergis himself proposed coalition between the Homeland Union, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Liberal Movement, although both Ramūnas Karbauskis and Liberal Movement's leader Eugenijus Gentvilas turned down this offer.[27] Eventually, coalition was formed between the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, which lasted until the autumm of 2017.

After Landsbergis reelection as party's leader in 2017, primaries were introduced for candidates to the presidential nominees and party list in parliamentary election.[28][29]

In 2018, Mantas Adomėnas's membership in the party was suspended due to relations of MG Baltic and Adomėnas himself. Later, Adomėnas left Homeland Union's parliamentary group and the party itself.[30][31] By autumm of 2018, the party held presidential primaries (the first party in Lithuania to do so), which were won by Ingrida Šimonytė. Šimonytė's performance in 2019 presidential election raised possibility about her nomination to the first place on party's list and as the future Prime Minister.[32]

In 2020, members of the Homeland Union, Rimantas Dagys and Egidijus Vareikis formed new party, the Christian Union.

In 2020 parliamentary election the party won the most seats (50) and agreed to form coalition with the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party.

Organisation[edit]

Factions[edit]

First faction to be established within the party was Christian Democrats' faction in 2003. Since then (mainly due to mergers with other parties) new factions were established.

The party currently is split into factions, which are based by former parties:

Election results[edit]

Seimas[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1996 409,585 (PR) 31.3
70 / 141
Increase 70 Increase 1st Coalition
2000 126,850 (PR) 8.6
9 / 141
Decrease 61 Decrease 5th Opposition
2004 176,409 (PR) 14.8
25 / 141
Increase 16 Increase 2nd Opposition
2008 243,823 (PR) 19.7
45 / 141
Increase 29 Increase 1st Coalition
2012 206,590 (PR) 15.0
33 / 141
Decrease 12 Decrease 2nd Opposition
2016 276,275 (PR) 22.6
31 / 141
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
2020 292,124 (PR) 25.8
50 / 141
Increase 19 Increase 1st Coalition

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats
2004 151,400 12.58%
2 / 13
2009 147,756 26.16%
4 / 12
2014 199,393 17.43%
2 / 11
2019 248,736 19.74%
3 / 11

Members of the parliament[edit]

Parliamentarian Since Constituency
Mantas Adomėnas 2008 Nationwide
Arvydas Anušauskas 2008 Nationwide
Audronius Ažubalis 1996 Nationwide
Agnė Bilotaitė 2008 Nationwide
Rimantas Jonas Dagys 1992 Nationwide
Irena Degutienė 1996 Nationwide
Sergejus Jovaiša 2012 Nationwide
Rasa Juknevičienė 1990 Nationwide
Vytautas Juozapaitis 2012 Nationwide
Laurynas Kasčiūnas 2016 Nationwide
Vytautas Kernagis 2016 Fabijoniškės
Dainius Kreivys 2012 Verkiai
Andrius Kubilius 1992 Nationwide
Gabrielius Landsbergis 2016 Centras (Kaunas)Žaliakalnis
Tadas Langaitis 2016 Nationwide
Mykolas Majauskas 2016 Senamiestis
Kęstutis Masiulis 2000 Nationwide
Antanas Matulas 1996 PasvalysPakruojis
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė 2016 Nationwide
Andrius Navickas 2017 Nationwide
Monika Navickienė 2016 Naujoji Vilnia
Žygimantas Pavilionis 2016 Naujamiestis
Edmundas Pupinis 2004–2012; 2016 Utena
Jurgis Razma 1996 Nationwide
Paulius Saudargas 2008 Justiniškės
Gintarė Skaistė 2016 Nationwide
Kazys Starkevičius 2004 Nationwide
Algis Strelčiūnas 2012 Lazdynų
Stasys Šedbaras 2008 Nationwide
Ingrida Šimonytė 2016 Antakalnis
Emanuelis Zingeris 1990 Nationwide

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "Lithuania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
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  4. ^ a b Bakke, Elisabeth (2010), "Central and East European party systems since 1989", Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989, Cambridge University Press, p. 79, ISBN 9781139487504, retrieved 17 November 2011
  5. ^ a b Ramonaitė, Ainė (2006), "The Development of the Lithuanian Party System: From Stability to Perturbation", Post-Communist EU Member States: Parties and Party Systems, Ashgate, p. 75, ISBN 9780754647126
  6. ^ a b Sužiedėlis, Saulius (2011), "Union of the Fatherland", Historical Dictionary of Lithuania, Scarecrow Press, p. 308, ISBN 9780810875364
  7. ^ a b Duvold, Kjetil; Jurkynas, Mindaugas (2004), "Lithuania", The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe, Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 163, ISBN 9781840648546
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  9. ^ "Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas". archive.is (in Latin). 11 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  10. ^ Clark, Terry D. (2006), "Nationalism in Post-Soviet Lithuania: New Approaches for the Nation of "Innocent Sufferers"", After Independence: Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States, University of Michigan Press
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  13. ^ "Tėvynės sąjunga-Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai (TS-LKD) nė karto neliko be mandatų". DELFI.
  14. ^ Bergman, Torbjörn; Ilonszki, Gabriella; Müller, Wolfgang C. (12 January 2020). Coalition Governance in Central Eastern Europe. ISBN 9780198844372.
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  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  23. ^ https://www.lrytas.lt/lietuvosdiena/aktualijos/2015/08/06/news/kauno-konservatoriaus-zinute-facebook-isiutino-g-landsbergi-3127971/
  24. ^ https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/a-dumcius-ir-v-m-cigriejiene-visiskai-nutraukia-rysius-su-konservatoriais.d?id=71478748
  25. ^ "MG Baltic president questioned by investigators". 8 September 2016.
  26. ^ https://www.bernardinai.lt/2016-10-27-seimo-rinkimu-apzvalga-sokiruojanti-bet-desninga-lvzs-pergale/
  27. ^ https://m.delfi.lt/delfi/article.php%3fid=72669570&amp=1
  28. ^ http://apzvalga.eu/g-landsbergis-apie-pokycius-ts-lkd-partijoje-ir-ambicija-reikalinga-lietuvai.html
  29. ^ https://kauno.diena.lt/naujienos/lietuva/politika/konservatoriai-pradeda-partijos-kandidatu-i-seima-reitingavima-972075
  30. ^ https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/konservatoriu-etikos-sargai-pasalino-manta-adomena-is-partijos.d?id=78276985
  31. ^ https://www.15min.lt/naujiena/aktualu/lietuva/is-ts-lkd-pasalintas-mantas-adomenas-trauksis-is-frakcijos-bet-ne-is-seimo-56-991368
  32. ^ https://madeinvilnius.lt/naujienos/aktualijos/kas-taps-lietuvos-respublikos-prezidentu-rezultatai-2/

External links[edit]