Will there be a centre-right government or not? Will the liberal forces manage to participate in government? The second round of the parliamentary elections in Lithuania has certainly clarified these questions. The previous government, consisting of the “Farmers and Greens Union” and social democratic forces, has been voted out of office. The new government will certainly bear a liberal signature.
The most important results of the first round of Lithuania’s parliamentary elections on 11 October in the spotlight: The conservative Homeland Union, which had previously been in the opposition, celebrated victory. However, the current governing Farmers and Greens Union immediately pointed out that in the second round, which will take place on 25 October, the voters could still turn the result in their favour. The newly formed Liberal Freedom Party, which campaigned for LGBT rights, education policies and legalisation of cannabis, was the biggest surprise of the first round, winning 8 seats. The Liberal Movement, Lithuania’s established liberal party, also made it into parliament. Possible governmental constellations are already clearly emerging.
The eagerly awaited parliamentary elections in Slovakia are over and their winners and losers are known. Igor Matovič, the expected new Slovakian Prime Minister, became the clear winner with his anti-corruption movement “Ordinary people and independent personalities” (OĽaNO). OĽaNO won the election with 25.02 percent.
On Saturday, Slovaks will vote on their parliamentary representatives for the next four-year legislature and some observers already ascribe historical significance to the upcoming election campaign. The elections are taking place after four challenging years, which were marked above all by the murder of the journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. The double murder triggered a series of protests against the government and numerous revelations of corruption and mafia contacts right up to the cabinet of the then Social Democratic head of government. Slovaks, whose confidence in institutions and the rule of law has been deeply shaken, are now demanding changes. However, it is difficult to predict who will form future government just a few days before the election.
Strong right-wing populists come in third – liberal party Ciudadanos crashes
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Social Democratic PSOE (“Partido Socialista Obrero Español” – Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) have once again become the strongest force in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, they have clearly missed their ultimate goal: to win votes in order to form a stable government. In fact, PSOE lost three mandates and now has 120 seats in Congress. The absolute majority requires 176 seats, but with the support of the left-wing populist party Unidos Podemos (“Together we can do it”) and the new Más País (“More Land”) the left-wing bloc only has 158 seats. For a progressive government majority, Sánchez would be dependent on the votes of various Catalan parties, which strive for the independence of the autonomous region and emerged strengthened from the 10N – it would be political harakiri.
On 13th October Poland expects an election of fate. The Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) party, which has been in power since 2015, has since its election purposefully and skilfully put the country on a national-conservative course with authoritarian traits. It is performing well in polls – not least because of its generous social policy. The opposition still needs to develop some momentum in order to win the elections.