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Lithuania Politics

State and politics

GOVERNMENT

The Declaration of Independence in March 1990 declared the Soviet Constitution invalid and was temporarily replaced by the Constitution of 1938. Lithuania's current constitution was adopted by a referendum in the October 1992 parliamentary elections.

Government and Politics of Lithuania

Lithuania is a democracy with a so-called semi-presidential system, that is, a mix between parliamentarism and presidential rule. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of LT and its meanings of Lithuania.

The president is head of state and is elected in direct elections for a period of five years with the possibility of re-election. The executive power lies mainly with the government. The President can veto Parliament's legislation. Only by an absolute majority (more than three-quarters) can Parliament repeal such a veto. The President can also dissolve Parliament if it refuses to approve the government's budget within sixty days or vote for distrust of the entire government. The president further appoints commander-in-chief, can appoint diplomatic envoys without government approval and has some foreign policy leeway.

The legislative power is held by the national single-chamber parliament, Seimas, which has 141 members. The electoral system is mixed: 70 members are elected by proportional elections according to lists drawn up by the parties and the rest are elected by majority voting in one-man constituencies, where a second round of elections is arranged in those constituencies where no candidate has obtained a majority. In the proportional elections, 5 percent of the vote is required for a party to be allocated some seats; the limit for multi-party associations is 7 percent.

Policy

The party image in Lithuania is fragmented and there is a tendency to re-form, split and merge parties before the elections. Most governments have been coalitions and until 2008 no government had sat for a full term. Compared to other EU countries, corruption is a relatively big problem and political scandals and corruption trials have succeeded. This has led to low confidence in the authorities. Voter turnout is usually around 50 percent.

The reformed Communist Party Lithuanian Democratic Workers' Party (LDDP) was clearly the biggest in the 1992 elections, and the following year, party leader Algirdas Brazauskas won the presidential election. In addition, during the Soviet era, the Communist Party in Lithuania was significantly more nationally oriented than the parties in many other Soviet republics.

In 1996, the LDDP lost government power to the Conservative and Nationalist Confederation, under the leadership of former head of state Vytautas Landsbergis. The party has its roots in the Sajūdis popular front, which was a unifying force during the liberation struggle in the late 1980s.

In 2001, the LDDP merged with the Social Democrats under the name of this party, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), with Brazauskas as party leader. Following a government crisis that year, Brazauska became prime minister at the head of a coalition government. During Algirdas Brazaukua's time as head of government, Lithuania became a member of the EU and NATO, which there was great political agreement around.

In 2012-16, the country was led by a coalition government dominated by the LSDP, whose party leader Algirdas Butkevičius (born 1958) was prime minister. Prior to the mandate, the country was ruled by a center-right government led by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius from the Confederation of the Confederation of Finland.

The 2016 parliamentary elections led to significant delays between the parties. The largest party was surprisingly Lithuanian farmers and green alliance (LVZS), thanks in large part to winning 35 of 71 one-man election circles. The party's success was based on widespread dissatisfaction with the former government parties' policies, especially in the economic sphere, and their inability to reduce the emigration of young people from the country.

The politically independent former national police chief and Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis (born 1970), who ran in the election for LVZS, was appointed prime minister in the fall of 2016 and together with the Socialist Party formed a coalition government. However, the LSDP officially left the government cooperation in 2017. The decision caused division within the party, and MPs loyal to the government formed the Lithuanian Social Democratic Workers Party (LSDDP) in 2018. Since 2019, the smaller parties have also included the Election Campaign for Poles in Lithuania, as well as National Conservative Order and Justice in the government documentation.

In the 2019 presidential election, independent right-center candidate Gitanas Nausėda (born 1964) won.

See also History.

Judiciary

Despite independence, Lithuania continues to use laws from the Soviet era in the absence of alternatives. However, radical legal reforms in the market economy direction are being implemented. The death penalty was abolished in 1998. The last execution took place in 1995.

Heads of State

great Princes
1236-63 Mindaugas
1316-41 Gediminas
1345-77 Algirdas
1345-82 Kestutis
1382-92 Jagiello
1392-1430 Vytautas the Great
Presidents
1919-20 Antanas Smetona
1920-26 Aleksandras Stulginskis
1926 Kazys Grinius
1926-40 Antanas Smetona
1991-92 Vytautas Landsbergis
1992-98 Algirdas Brazauskas
1998-2003 Valdas Adamkus
2003-2004 Rolandas Paksas
2004-09 Valdas Adamkus
2009-19 Dalia Grybauskaitė
2019- Gitanas Nausėda
Other Countries in Europe

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