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Seimas (Parliament)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Seimas / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)12 October 2008
26 October 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
The 2008 elections were held in parallel with a consultative referendum on the Ignalina nuclear power plant. This plant had been earmarked for closure by the end of 2009 as one of the conditions for accession to the European Union in 2004. The government was seeking voters' views on a request for a possible extension of this deadline to 2012. The elections were held against a background of rising inflation following two years of prosperity.

In the previous elections held in October 2004 the Labour Party (DP) led by wealthy Russian-born businessman Mr. Viktor Uspaskich became the largest party winning a total of 39 seats in the 141-member parliament. The outgoing governing coalition Working for Lithuania won 31 seats. It comprised the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP formerly the Communist Party) and the Social Liberal Party (SLP) led respectively by Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas and Speaker Arturas Paulauskas. The Homeland Union (TS) and the Liberal Centre Union took 25 and 18 seats respectively. After lengthy power-sharing negotiations Mr. Brazauskas (LSDP) was re-elected Prime Minister on 14 December. He subsequently formed a new coalition government comprising the LSDP the SLP the DP and the Union of Farmers' Party and New Democracy Party.

Police investigations initiated into the DP's finances in May 2006 sparked a crisis that led its leader Mr. Uspaskich to leave the country for Russia where he stayed until May 2008. DP ministers also resigned from the government in protest against criticism by President Valdas Adamkus. Following the subsequent resignation of Prime Minister Brazauskas (LSDP) and his entire cabinet a new caretaker prime minister was appointed in the person of the outgoing Minister of Finance Zigmantas Balcytis (LSDP). His appointment was rejected by Parliament after some members sought clarification about his activities as the head of the Communist Youth Union during the Soviet era and an alleged attempt to join the KGB. In early July former defence minister Mr. Gediminas Kirkilas (LSDP) became the country's eleventh Prime Minister since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

May 2008 also saw the formation of two new parties: the TS-LKD (the result of a merger between the Homeland Union and the Lithuanian Christian Democrats) under the leadership of former prime minister Mr. Andrius Kubilius; and the Rising Nation Party (RNP) formed by TV show host and lawyer Mr. Arunas Valinskas.

In all 1 583 candidates (including 456 women) from 20 parties and coalitions ran for the 2008 elections.

Prime Minister Kirkilas pledged to introduce progressive taxation. He also argued that the country should introduce the euro in 2011. He vowed to leave the LSDP if it lost the elections.

TS-LKD leader Mr. Kubilius pledged to continue to negotiate with the European Commission (EC) to extend the Ignalina nuclear plant's deadline for closure. The party also promised to introduce the euro without specifying any date. It promised to cut income tax by introducing a land tax.

The Order and Justice Party (Liberal Democratic Party) led by former president Rolandas Paksas who had been impeached in April 2004 over a bribe-taking scandal advocated maintaining pragmatic ties with Moscow. Mr. Paksas promised to hold a referendum on the adoption of the euro.

The DP was led by Mr. Uspaskich who was barred from leaving Lithuania until the investigation into party finances was completed. The DP which has its stronghold in small towns campaigned for pro-market policies with more security for small and medium-sized businesses. It formed a coalition with the Youth Party under the name Labour Party + Youth Coalition.

RNP leader Valinskas dismissed criticism accusing him of “showbiz” politics and ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition government with the Order and Justice Party (Liberal Democratic Party).

Pre-election polls showed the TS-LKD in the lead.

On 12 October 48.6 per cent of the nearly 2.7 million registered voters turned out at the polls.

Seven parties surpassed the five per cent threshold to win a share of the 70 seats available under the proportional representation (PR) system. The TS-LKD won 18 of the PR seats. The RNP surprised many observers by coming in second with 13 seats followed by the Order and Justice Party (Liberal Democratic Party) with 11 seats. The LSDP took ten seats. The Labour Party + Youth Coalition won eight seats. The Liberals' Movement of the Republic of Lithuania (led by Mr. Eligijus Masiulis) and the Liberal and Centre Union (led by former mayor of Vilnus Mr. Arturas Zuokas) took five seats each.

As for the 71 members elected by the majority system only three candidates won the absolute majority of votes required to be elected in the first round. Among the three candidates elected two were from the LSDP and one was from the Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action a party representing the Polish minority in Lithuania.

Run-off elections for 68 remaining seats were held on 26 October. The final results gave 45 seats to the TS-LKD and 25 seats to the LSDP. The RNP took 16 seats. In all 25 women were elected.

In the referendum on the Ignalina nuclear power plant 88.56 per cent of voters approved the extension of the lifetime of the plant. However turnout was below the 50 per cent required to validate the referendum.

The newly elected parliament held its first session on 18 November and elected Mr. Arunas Valinskas (RNP) as its new Speaker.

In the meantime on 17 November Mr. Kubilius signed an official agreement to form a coalition government with his TS-LKD the RNP the Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania and the Liberal and Centre Union. On 20 November President Adamkus signed a decree proposing the candidature of Mr. Kubilius for the position of the Prime Minister. His nomination was confirmed by the Seimas on 27 November.
Voter turnout
Round no 112 October 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'309'965 (48.59%)

Notes Statistics above refer to the PR system.
Statistics for the majority system:
Number of registered voters: 2 696 075
Voters: 1 309 767 (48.58%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers: 81 581
Valid votes: 1 228 180
Round no 226 October 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
835'636 (32.37%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) 142
Rising Nation party (RNP) 73
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) 141
Order and Justice Party 140
"Labour Party + Youth" Coalition 130
Liberal and Centre Union 141
Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania 101
Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action 143
Union of Lithuanian Peasants and Peoples 125
New Union (Social Liberals) 138
Round no 2
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD)
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP)
Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania
Order and Justice Party
Liberal and Centre Union
Union of Lithuanian Peasants and Peoples
Rising Nation party (RNP)
"Labour Party + Youth" Coalition
Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action
New Union (Social Liberals)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total PR Majority Total 1st & 2nd
Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) 18 18 0
Rising Nation party (RNP) 13 13 0
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) 12 10 2
Order and Justice Party 11 11 0
"Labour Party + Youth" Coalition 8 8 0
Liberal and Centre Union 5 5 0
Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania 5 5 0
Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action 1 0 1
Union of Lithuanian Peasants and Peoples 0 0 0
New Union (Social Liberals) 0 0 0
Independents 0 0 0
Round no 2
Political Group Total PR Majority Total 1st & 2nd
Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) 27 45
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP) 13 25
Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania 6 11
Order and Justice Party 4 15
Independents 4 4
Liberal and Centre Union 3 8
Union of Lithuanian Peasants and Peoples 3 3
Rising Nation party (RNP) 3 16
"Labour Party + Youth" Coalition 2 10
Lithuanian Poles' Electoral Action 2 3
New Union (Social Liberals) 1 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Parliament (10.11.2008 01.01.2010)

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