- October 29, 2012
Komar: Will social democratic party begin war with Grybauskaitė? In run off Lithuanians preferred AWLP to Uspaskich.
The second round of parliamentary election and the election as a whole are already finished. But it is too early to speak about the final result. Wiktor Uspaskich learned it in a painful way. Already after the first round he kept saying everywhere he could that not only does he want to be the prime minister, but he should be the prime minister. President Dalia Grybauskaitė wiped out his dreams by saying that she does not even want to listen about the Labour Party ruling the country.
The run off showed that an old proverb about jumping though a ditch worked in case of Wiktor Uspaskich. Jumping the gun, affairs associated with buying votes and the still unresolved case of double accounting of the party did their job. Many people went to vote against Uspaskich’s group. The best example is Riese near Vilnius, where Živilė Pinkuvienė, Labour Party’s candidate and Rima Tamušienė from AWLP competed. In the run off the majority chose AWLP’s candidate. And it were not only local Poles who voted for her, but majority of local Lithuanians as well (AWLP’s candidate received almost 55% of votes whereas the Labour Party’s one about 35%). A Lithuanian woman from Rises said, half joking, that she had never imagined voting for AWLP’s candidate. She admitted that when the choice was between Uspaskich as the PM and Poles in the Seym, she has chosen AWLP.
Now Uspaskich has no chance to become the PM. Rather unexpectedly, Labour Party’s chance to participate in the ruling coalition has fallen drastically. And it is thanks to the attitude of the president Dalia Grybauskaitė who has, for a long time, publicly and in lobbies, been showing her displeasure with what Mr Uspaskich and his people are doing. She has just announced that she cannot imagine the Labour Party being in the ruling coalition.
It must be said that Mrs President’s attitude for a time destabilises the political stage. If not the Labour Party, then who will rule with the social democratic party? Is an alliance with conservatists possible? Such attempts were made in the past and it never worked. There is a high probability that now it will not work, too. But will social democrats manage to create a coalition without the conservatists? They got 38 votes. So they need at least 33 more. Paksas’ party (Order and Justice) has 11 votes. AWPL—8. So we have 57 votes. Will the liberals want to join such a coalition? They would add 11 votes and there would be 68 in total. And this is close to majority. In the new Seym there are 3 independent MPs, who are close to the centre-left wing. One can also count on two or three MPs’ votes from Venckienė’s group. Of course, if they agree to leave their party. It would be rather unstable coalition, though.
On the other hand, it is to be expected that Uspaskich will not give up without a fight. He can, for instance, propose social democrats to create a constitutional coalition, that is one which would have an absolute majority in the parliament; it would allow them even to change the Constitution—85 votes are needed. It is enough to invite AWLP with its 8 MPs and maybe also the independent MPs to the coalition that is being created after the first round (78 votes.) Such an arrangement will isolate Mrs President and will make her unable to influence what is happening in the country. Similar situation took place after 1996 parliamentary election when conservatists became the ruling group. The role of the president Algirdas Brazauskas was limited to giving medals to the meritorious ones.
Quite unexpectedly, the statement of Mrs President has turned everything upside down but it also gave AWLP a unique chance. If social democrats will support Uspaskich and begin a war with the president, AWLP will be needed to fully block Dalia Grybauskaitė’s moves in the parliament. And it can mean big concessions in favour of the Polish party.
Of course there is a possibility of giving the power to the conservatists. The Poles will be needed there, too. But a coalition built around conservatists would be even less stable than social democrats’ one. The political scientist Tomas Jakieliūnas believes that in such case earlier election would take place.
Tłumaczenie Emilia Zawieracz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Zawieracz the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.