Parliamentary Chamber: Seimas


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  20 October 1996
10 November 1996

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 9 April 1996, a decree issued by President of the Republic Algirdas Brazauskas set the election date for 20 October and the second round of voting, if necessary, for 10 November.

Main contestants were the ruling Democratic Labour Party (LDLP), the social- democratic successor of the Communist Party of Lithuania, led by Mr. C. Jursenas; the Conservative Party (Homeland Union) - founded in 1993 from elements of Sajudis (the Reform Movement which had paved the way to sovereignty) - chaired by Mr. V. Landsbergis, considered the hero of Lithuania's independence drive in 1991; and the Conservatives' allies - the Christian Democratic Party and the Centre Union. Pre-election polls favoured the right-wing opposition over LDLP, which was criticised for the country's economic stagnation and had been plagued by financial scandals, including one involving former Prime Minister A. Slezevicius. As the rival forces generally agreed on foreign policy (especially affiliation to NATO and the European institutions), the economy was at the forefront of campaign debate, as four years earlier when LDLP had won out on the same basis. Mr. Landsbergis, for his part, ran on an anti-corruption platform, promising improvement and stability on the domestic scene. Altogether 1352 candidates (considerably more than in 1992) vied for the 141 seats at stake.

Polling day was marked by a relatively low turnout. Only two of the 71 majority seats were won outright in the first round, with runoffs on 10 November being required for 65 others (new elections were to be held in the four remaining constituencies). The second round also saw a low turnout. Final results gave the edge to the conservative camp, which was markedly more unified than in the past.

On 25 November, the newly elected Parliament held its first session and elected Mr. Landsbergis as Speaker. The new Council of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, was formed on 4 December.

Round no 1 (20 October 1996): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2,597,530
Voters 1,374,612 (52.92%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 67,751
Valid votes 1,306,861

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Homeland Union - Conservatives 29.8
Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party 12.2
The Centre Union of Lithuania 8.2
Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party 9.5
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party 6.6
Lithuanian Democratic Party 2.1
Independents 10.9
Others 20.7

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Homeland Union - Conservatives 70 +70
Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party 16 +7
The Centre Union of Lithuania 13 +11
Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party 12 -61
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party 12 +4
Lithuanian Democratic Party 2 -2
Independents 4 +3
Others 8 n.a

  Excluding 4 vacant seats

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 113
Women: 24

Distribution of seats according to age:  
21- 30 years 4
31- 40 years 37
41- 50 years 36
51- 60 years 39
61- 70 years 19
Over 70 years 2

Distribution of seats according to profession:

Civil servants 84
State education, culture and sports institutions 19
Organisations with private capital 14
State manufacturing/services enterprises 8
Party and political organisations 5
Others 7

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Copyright 1996 Inter-Parliamentary Union