Viewing cable 08VILNIUS912
Title: CONSERVATIVES WIN SECOND ROUND; CENTER-RIGHT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS9122008-10-27 14:15:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO5605
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0912/01 3011415
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271415Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3001
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000912 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL LH
SUBJECT: CONSERVATIVES WIN SECOND ROUND; CENTER-RIGHT 
COALITION LIKELY 
 
REF: VILNIUS 855 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: Charge d'affaires a.i. Damian Leader for reasons 1.4 (b) 
 and (d). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary:  With preliminary results in, the 
Conservative Party appears to have won a significant 
plurality in the new Seimas (parliament) with 44 (of a total 
171) seats.  The Conservatives are moving quickly with 
probable coalition partners National Revival, Liberal 
Movement, and Liberal and Center Union in announcing their 
intention to form a government.  Should they be successful, 
we expect this coalition to take steps to address the impact 
of the global financial crisis.  We also expect the new 
government to be as pro-American and pro-NATO as its 
predecessor.  End summary. 
 
Conservatives Well-Placed to Lead Coalition 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Building on their October 12 first-round success, 
Lithuania's Conservatives rolled to further victory in the 
October 26 second-round Seimas elections, winning 26 of the 
44 single-mandate runoffs in which they competed.  Combined 
with the 18 seats they earned via party list (note: revised 
upward from reftel), their 44 seats place them well to lead 
coalition talks. 
 
¶3. (U) Four runoff races currently face a recount because the 
candidates were separated by less than 50 votes.  The recount 
can only benefit the Conservatives, as initial results in all 
four races show their candidates losing. 
 
¶4. (U) Pending final results, the distribution of seats in 
the new Seimas looks as follows: 
 
Conservatives     44 
Social Democrats  26 
National Revival  16 
Order and Justice 15 
Liberal Movement  11 
Labor             10 
Liberal and Center Union 8 
Polish Electoral Action 3 
Peasant Nationalists 3 
Social Liberals    1 
Independent        4 
 
¶5. (U) The Conservatives, National Revival, Liberal Movement, 
and Liberal and Center Union announced their intention to 
form a coalition, signing a cooperation agreement October 27. 
 Their 79-seat majority could easily increase based on 
recounts or by having independents or others (like the sole 
Social Liberal member) join. 
 
Timeline to a New Government 
---------------------------- 
 
¶6. (U) Once election results are final, the new Seimas must 
be convened by the President within 15 days.  The latest this 
could happen would be November 18.  Then, the President 
officially proposes the candidacy of a Prime Minister, to be 
approved by the Seimas within 15 days (not later than 
December 4).  Once the Prime Minister is approved, s/he has 
15 days to present her/his program and proposed Cabinet to 
the Seimas (nlt December 19), which then has no more than 15 
days to consider and approve them (nlt early January). 
Although the mechanism for forming a government was not 
necessarily designed for speed, the potential coalition has 
already indicated it hopes to move through the process 
quickly.  One reason to do so would be to allow the new 
Seimas to consider the 2009 budget, which must be completed 
prior to the end of the year. 
 
Positions 
--------- 
 
¶7. (U) Much horsetrading remains to be done before a 
coalition is formed, but the parties are already staking 
claims to posts.  Conservative Party leader Andrius Kubilius 
has already announced that his party would seek the top slots 
at the Economy, Finance, Defense, and Foreign Ministries. 
Revival Party leader Arunas Valinskas has said he expects his 
party to get both Interior and Justice Ministries, as well as 
the Seimas Speaker's post (not necessarily for himself). 
Regarding the choice for a Prime Minister, President Adamkus 
has already been quoted saying that according to "prevailing 
world practice," the government would be formed by the party 
which won the most seats. 
 
What Policies Should We Expect? 
 
VILNIUS 00000912  002 OF 002 
 
 
------------------------------- 
 
¶8. (C) The National Revival Party, newly established, has 
little track record to judge by, but ran on a platform of 
responsible government.  The Conservatives and both Liberal 
parties have generally pro-business stances, and, should the 
coalition successfully form, we expect this to be reflected 
in its policies.  At a four-party press conference held 
October 27, Kubilius made it clear that the coalition's first 
concern would be taking steps to address the impact of the 
global financial crisis, in part by tackling budget deficits 
and slowing GDP growth. 
 
¶9. (C) Members of this four-party coalition have a history of 
close relations with the United States, and strongly support 
NATO.  We expect this trend to continue.  At the October 27 
press conference, they pledged to work to battle corruption, 
and to improve Lithuania's energy policies.  The latter will 
include a close look at the formation of LEO LT and its 
structure, "to make sure it properly represents the country 
and society." 
LEADER