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Country Reports

Local elections in Lithuania

by Oliver Morwinsky, Fausta Šimaitytė, Emely Keyn

Success in the capital, loss in the countryside

Local elections were held in Lithuania on March 5, 2023. The final runoff elections were held on March 19, 2023. Sixteen political parties and 32 political committees participated in the voting. Their representatives competed for the 1,498 municipal council seats and 60 mayoral seats. Voter turnout was 48.97 percent, a slight increase. The Lithuanian Social Democratic Party emerged as the winner of the local elections. The capital Vilnius was won by the Christian Democrats. Party leader Landsbergis is no longer running for party chairman.

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No general conclusions can be drawn from the local elections for the next parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the electorate is slowly turning away from the conservative-liberal governing coalition. The problem for the conservatives is not only that in every city in the country - except Vilnius - people are uniting against them.

The lack of strong local political figures is seen as the biggest problem. Some voters do not even associate the candidates with their parties. The lack of good local politicians is related - especially among the Christian Democrats - to the candidates' strong desire to act as quickly as possible at the national level.

The announcement before the elections that Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė (previously without a party affiliation) would be joining the party could already be interpreted as a sign of a realignment within the party. The impact on the party of Landsbergis' decision not to run again as party chairman will become clear in the coming months.

The full-length publication is only available in German.

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Contact Person

Oliver Morwinsky

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Head of the Baltic States Offices

oliver.morwinsky@kas.de +371 673 312 64

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