Lithuania: Farmers' Union out, conservatives in

Lithuania has voted for a change of government. The winner of last weekend's parliamentary elections is the Christian-conservative Unity party, which now plans to form a coalition with two liberal parties. The country's strongest party before the vote, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, lost 22 of its 54 seats. Commentators discuss why the old government was punished and what might change with the new one.

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Postimees (EE) /

With women comes change

A fundamental change is taking place - and not just in Lithuania, Postimees notes:

“The elections have driven an all-male government from power and now three women will lead the negotiations on the new government coalition. A remarkable change is happening, not only regarding gender balance. ... Voters want change, radical change. The surprisingly strong Freedom Party wants to legalise cannabis and same-sex partnerships, for example. In a country with such a strong Catholic tradition, this result probably does not point to a change of attitude in society as a whole. But it is an indication of active younger and more liberal voters. It is possible that the election in Lithuania is the first sign of the end of the shift towards conservatisim that began in Europe five years ago.”

Verslo žinios (LT) /

Reason prevails at last

Hopefully, the new political leadership will be more trustworthy, business paper Verslo žinios puts in:

“Business representatives expect closer cooperation from the new government - joint discussions before important decisions are made for the country. It is to be hoped that the time of disrespect and corruption scandals is now over. ... The names of the ministers are still being negotiated behind closed doors. Who has the best cards remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: rather than opting for populists and their empty promises, this time Lithuanian voters preferred professional politicians who speak openly and inspire hope that politics will move in a more moderate, honest and targeted direction.”

Lietuvos rytas (LT) /

The backlash for all the scandals

For Lietuvos rytas it's clear why voters have turned away from the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union:

“The farmers probably lost a lot of votes because they couldn't or didn't want to bring the second wave of the pandemic under control before the elections. But we should not forget that their whole four-year term in government was marked by scandals, intrigues and bans. This became the main reason why Prime Minister Skvernelis and Health Minister Veryga lost in their constituencies. ... During the last legislative period, the Farmers Union has become highly charged with negative tensions. This is due to very personalised policy of 'war against everyone'.”