Lithuania election: Voters “dump austerity government”
Lithuanians have voted out their conservative government after one of the world’s deepest recessions, an exit poll suggests.
The survey suggested two leftist parties, Labour and the Social Democrats, would come first and second.
They hinted they would be prepared to form a coalition together, possibly with a third party involved.
Correspondents said PM Andrius Kubilius’ government had been punished for cutting pensions and public wages.
He came to power in 2008, just as the global financial crisis was bringing a dramatic end to an extended Lithuanian boom fuelled by cheap Scandinavian credit.
Mr Kubilius enforced a drastic austerity programme, to stave off national bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, economic output dropped by 15%, unemployment climbed and thousands of young people emigrated from the Baltic nation of 3.3 million in search of work.
The budget deficit has since been tamed and GDP reached growth of 5.8%.
Lithuania’s approach won praise from other governments and the International Monetary Fund, but analysts say the rebound came too late to translate into a political revival for the conservatives.
Opposition parties promised to soften the austerity programme.
The exit poll by RAIT/BNS gave 19.8% to the populist Labour Party, and 17.8% to the centre-left Social Democrats, reversing the result predicted in opinion polls.
The prime minister’s Homeland Union took 16.7%, according to the polls.
However, only half of MPs are chosen from national party lists. The other half come from local constituencies.
The final shape of the next government may depend on a second round of local voting, which takes place in two weeks’ time.
the hatred of austerity shows through again..the people dont want it..they dont deserve it..and if you promote it you will be voted out..listen and learn..