Gentvilas: Liberal Movement readying for talks with Conservatives

Eugenijus Gentvilas

The Lithuanian Liberal Movement, which has already secured eight mandates in the country's 141-seat parliament, is readying for negotiations with the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, says Eugenijus Gentvilas, the number one candidate on the Liberals' election list.

Gentvilas said he did not expect the high support in the first round of voting, applauding the party's success in mobilizing its voters following the corruption scandal surrounding the Liberals' former leader, Eligijus Masiulis.

"Let's imagine that the result is better than in 2012 and worse than we could have wanted six months ago. What we thought after all the nonsense of May 12 was, of course, that we would suffer a total failure. We had to mobilize ourselves and our voters. And it seems to me that we mobilized them," Gentvilas told BNS on Monday morning.

Before the elections, he predicted the party to secure 7.4 percent of the vote in the polls. According to preliminary results from most of the polling stations, the Liberal Movement was supported by 9.39 percent of voters.

Gentvilas said the Liberal Movement would shortly set up a task force for negotiations with the conservatives, adding that the group would include him, the party's leader, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, and vice-chairmen Vitalijus Gailius and Gintaras Steponavičius.

"We will definitely discuss support to each other in the second round of voting, of course, we will hold negotiations and discussions. The negotiations will open today, as the Liberal Movement's board will today authorize a negotiating team (…), the conservatives will have a presidium meeting tomorrow and will probably set up a team," Gentvilas said on Monday morning.

Both the Liberals and he conservative have listed the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union as the third possible coalition partner.

According to votes from 1,955 out of 1,996 polling stations, the Liberal Movement secured 9 percent of the vote. The polls are headed by the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union with 21.6 percent of the vote, just 2,000 votes ahead of the conservatives with 21.5 percent. The ruling Social Democrats are in third with 14.5 percent of votes.

Following the searches conducted on May 12, the Liberal Movement's then leader Eligijus Masiulis stepped down from the post and gave up his MP mandate. He faces suspicions of taking a bribe from MG Baltic concern vice-president Raimondas Kurlianskis. Masiulis is also charged with unlawful enrichment, however, denies all suspicions.

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