Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union
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|First Vice Chairman||Aurelijus Veryga|
|Vice Chairpeople||Ligita Girskienė|
|Founded||2001 (Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties)|
|Merger of||Lithuanian Peasants Party|
New Democracy Party
|Headquarters||Pamėnkalnio g. 26, Vilnius|
|European Parliament group||Union for Europe of the Nations (2004–2009) |
Greens/EFA (since 2014)
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|European Parliament (Lithuanian seats)|
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The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga, LVŽS)[nb 1] is a green-conservative and agrarian political party in Lithuania led by Ramūnas Karbauskis.
Following the 2020 parliamentary election, the LVŽS has been in opposition to the Šimonytė Cabinet. The party's two MEPs sit in the Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2001 as the Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union, (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių liaudininkų sąjunga, LVLS), the party's symbol since 2012 has been the white stork.
Foundation and participation in the Social Democratic Party-led governments (2001–2008)
In December 2001, electoral alliance between the Lithuanian Peasants Party (Lietuvos valstiečių partija) and the New Democratic Party (Naujosios demokratijos partija) known as the "Valstiečių ir Naujosios demokratijos partijų sąjunga" (or VNDS), which translates to the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union or Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties. In 2002–03 Lithuanian presidential election party's chairman Kazimira Prunskienė came with 5.04 per cent of the votes in the first round and saved its deposit. In the second round, she endorsed Rolandas Paksas of the Liberal Democratic Party, who won the election.
In 2004 presidential election (after Rolandas Packsas impeachement), Kazimira Prunskienė narrowly came to the second position (21.25 per cent), but she was defeated in the second round (although, after endorsement of Rolandas Paksas). In 2004 European Parliament election, the party got 7.41 per cent of the votes and won one seat by Gintaras Didžiokas. He joined the Union for Europe of the Nations. In Seimas election later tahat same year, the party got 6.6 per cent of the votes. The Labour Party joined forces with Peasants and New Democratic Party Union and invited the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania to join. Brazauskas initially ruled out a coalition with Labour, but eventually Social Democrats and New Union (Social Liberals) joined forces with the Labour Party and the Peasants, with Brazauskas as the Prime Minister.
In February 2006, the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union led by Lithuanian politician Kazimiera Prunskienė chose to rename itself Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union (after the pre-war Lithuanian Popular Peasants' Union). The party itself was main force in the Social Democratic Party-led governments.
In 2008 parliamentary election the party felt below 5 per cent threeshold and was left with three members, who were elected in single-member constituencies.
Opposition and leading force in the government (2009–2020)
In 2009 Kazimira Prunskienė left the party and founded the party of her own (Lithuanian People's Party). Although the party was minor one, it gained some influence in 2010, when it supported the Homeland Union-led government. The Lithuanian Peasants Popular Union changed its name to the Lithuanian Peasants and Greens Union in January 2012.
The party emerged as a dark horse in the electoral race in the spring of 2016. The rise of support was attributed to the popularity of Karbauskis, who had been active in campaigning against alcohol, and their lack of involvement in political scandals. LVŽS was further boosted by the announcement that Saulius Skvernelis, a Minister of Interior in Butkevičius Cabinet and one of the most popular politicians in Lithuania, would head the party's electoral list in the elections, without joining the party.
After successful performance in the 2016 parliamentary elections, a clarification about its English name format was issued, changing it to Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union. Also, after these election the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union became one of the main three political parties in Lithuania (along with the Homeland Union and the Social Democratic Party).
After these elections, various pundits claimed that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union could form a coalition with the Homeland Union, but Ramūnas Karbauskis proposed wide coalition between the aforementioned parties and the Social Democratic Party. The Homeland Union's leader Gabrielius Landsbergis himself proposed a coalition between the Homeland Union, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Liberal Movement, although both Ramūnas Karbauskis and the Liberal Movement's leader Eugenijus Gentvilas turned down this offer. Eventually, a coalition was formed between the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, which lasted until the autumn of 2017.
The party's support gradually declined by 2018 (e. g. in 2019 European Parliament election the party got 11.92 per cent of the votes), although due to the rally 'round the flag effect (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic), its support rebounded. In the 2020 parliamentary election the party won 18.07 per cent of the vote and 32 parliamentary seats. The party has been in opposition since 2020.
Again in opposition (from 2020)
After the elections, Ramūnas Karbauskis resigned from his parliamentary seat. After the electoral loss the party started to support (along with the Labour Party) various radical movements on the political fringes (e. g. Families' Defense March). This position caused disagreements within party and its parliamentary group.
Disagreements had forced a split in the parliamentary group in late summer and early autumn of 2021 with former Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis joining the newly established Democrats' parliamentary group "For Lithuania" (although this split was speculated by the pundits as early as March 2021). Due to this and the Social Democratic Party's position not to support the opposition coalition, the party lost the opposition leader's position. By the end of 2021, the party started losing members in municipalities' districts (e. g. Lazdijai district municipality mayor Ausma Miškinienė left it along with the almost all LVŽS members in the area).
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Current Members of the Seimas
- 2001 – Dec 2005: Peasants and New Democratic Party Union or Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties (Valstiečių ir Naujosios demokratijos partijų sąjunga/VNDS)
- Dec 2005 – Jan 2012: Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union (Lietuvos valstiečių liaudininkų sąjunga/LVLS)
- Jan 2012 – Feb 2017: Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga/LVŽS)
- Feb 2017 – present: Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga/LVŽS)
- Union of Greens and Farmers (Latvia)
- Raunio, Tapio; Sedelius, Thomas (13 July 2019). Semi-Presidential Policy-Making in Europe: Executive Coordination and Political Leadership. Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 63. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-16431-7. ISBN 978-3-030-16431-7. S2CID 198743002.
- Bakke, Elisabeth (2010). "Central and East European party systems since 1989". Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press. p. 81.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "Lithuania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
- Lowe, Josh (25 October 2016). "The Farmers' Party That Stormed the Lithuanian Election: What You Need to Know". Newsweek. Newsweek. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- Schwartz, Andrew (25 October 2021). "Lithuania Parliamentary Elections". CSIS. CSIS. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
- Vitureau, Marielle; Sibierski, Mary (23 October 2016). "Lithuanians vote for change handing farmers' party surprise win". Yahoo News. AFP. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "K.Prunskienė ruošiasi jungtuvėms ir rinkimams". DELFI.
- "K.Prunskienė antrame ture parems R.Paksą". DELFI.
- "R.Paksas pareiškė remiąs K.Prunskienę". DELFI.
- "V. Uspaskichas kviečia kitas partijas kartu formuoti valdančiąją daugumą". ELTA. 25 October 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "A. Brazauskas: prognozuoju, kad koalicijos su Darbo partija nebus". ELTA. 24 October 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
- "Seimas 2004-2008 m.: valdantieji rūbą keitė kelis kartus" [2004-2008 Seimas: the governing coalition changed its clothes several times] (in Lithuanian). Verslo Žinios. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "K.Prunskienė gimdys Liaudies partiją". Kauno diena.
- "Partijų reitinguose išnyra juodasis arkliukas" [A dark horse emerges in the party ratings]. delfi.lt (in Lithuanian). 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- Želnienė, Liepa (23 March 2016). "Saulius Skvernelis rinkimuose dalyvaus su žaliaisiais, bet į partiją nestos" [Saulius Skvernelis will participate in the elections with the Greens, but will not join the party] (in Lithuanian). 15min.lt. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjungą į Seimą ves Saulius Skvernelis" [Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union will be led in the elections by Saulius Skvernelis] (in Lithuanian). Vakarų Ekspresas. ELTA. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "Verčiant į anglų žodžio "valstiečiai" neliks". Lietuvos Žinios (in Lithuanian). 17 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
LVŽS šiandien pranešė, kad nuo šiol partijos pavadinimas angliškai skambės Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.
- Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Lithuanian election brings major shake-up | DW | 24.10.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
- "Seimo rinkimų apžvalga: Šokiruojanti, bet dėsninga LVŽS pergalė". 26 October 2016.
- "R. Karbauskis: koaliciją galime suformuoti ir be konservatorių ar socialdemokratų".
- "Centre-right opposition wins Lithuania's parliamentary election". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
- ERR, ERR News | (26 October 2020). "Lithuania to get new conservative-liberal coalition prime minister". ERR. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
- "Matas Baltrukevičius: Kodėl Skvernelio ir Karbauskio sąjunga gali žlugti?".
- "Prie Skvernelio politinės jėgos nusprendė jungtis ir Lazdijų rajono "valstiečiai" kartu su mere Miškiniene". 2 December 2021.
- The party is also known as Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union.