Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romania’s stability election
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
Serbia to tighten restrictions further as coronavirus cases reach new peaks
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
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The opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU-LCD), known colloquially as the Conservatives, has won the two-round parliament election in Lithuania and started talks on a centre-right ruling coalition with the Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party.
After the election results were counted in the run-off on October 25, it became clear that the HU-LCD secured 50 seats in the new parliament and will have a fragile majority with its coalition partners, based on the preliminary results.
Following their meeting at the Seimas, the Lithuanian legislature, in the early hours of October 26, the leaders of the three parties issued a joint declaration on their determination to form a government led by Ingrida Simonyte.
Simonyte, the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats' former presidential hopeful and now the candidate for prime minister, said late on October 25 she's taking the initiative to form a ruling coalition with the two liberal parties, adding that she would change the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic management model after becoming head of government.
The candidate said her first tasks would be to review the budget and change the management model, and also to listen to medical experts' opinions before making decisions.
"First of all, probably, we should change the very management method, in our opinion, and we have said that numerous times that, first of all, it should be very clear who talks to whom, about what and how decisions are made," Simonyte said.
Political scientists say the election results reflect a wish for change. But the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union scored fairly well in rural areas and avoided a crushing defeat. "Voters looked for certain novelties and alternatives, and we now see they have found that alternative," political scientist Rima Urbonaite said.
The Liberal Movement and the Freedom Party secured 13 and 11 seats respectively, meaning that the right-wing parties will have 74 representatives in the 141-seat Seimas.
The Farmers and Greens Unions will have 32 representatives. Its leader Ramunas Karbauskis conceded defeat on election night and congratulated the HU-LCD.
The Social Democratic Party of Lithuania will have 13 seats in the new parliament. The Labour Party secured ten mandates, and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance and the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania will have three lawmakers each.
Under the constitution, the president appoints the prime minister upon the Seimas' approval. The head of state also authorises the prime minister to form a new cabinet and approves its members.
Interestingly, Ausrine Armonaite, leader of the Freedom Party, has been elected to the Lithuanian Seimas in the special constituency established for Lithuanians living abroad.
Armonaite received over 12,900 votes, or 53.15% of the total, figures from the Central Electoral Commission show.
Representing the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Dalia Asanaviciute, the former leader of the Lithuanian community in the UK, received 10,800 votes, or 44.5% of all votes cast in the constituency,
The CEC published the results from all 51 diplomatic representations that organised voting but the result of all voting by post abroad are expected in the second half of the coming week.
A special constituency for Lithuanian expatriates was established for this parliament election after a large number of Lithuanians living abroad voted during the last presidential election and referendum on dual citizenship.
Over 43,000 voters registered to vote in the Seimas election abroad. Over 35,000 Lithuanians living abroad voted in the first round and over 24,000 in the runoff, according to the CEC figures.
Meanwhile, the outgoing LFGU Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who led the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens' candidate list for the parliament election, has lost his bid to secure a parliament seat in Pilaite-Karoliniskes single-member constituency in Vilnius.
Released by the Central Electoral Commission, preliminary results from 11 out of 12 districts show that Skvernelis received almost 34% of votes in the runoff. His rival Radvile Morkunaite-Mikuleniene, representing the HU-LCD, got 64% of the votes.
As leader of the LFGU candidate list, Skvernelis had already secured his parliament seat in the first round of voting in the multi-member constituency.
In 2016, Skvernelis was elected in the then Karoliniskes constituency after receiving 52.82% of the votes, winning against HU-LCD candidate Kestutis Masiulis who got 44.55%.
In the evening of October 25 Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has welcomed the voter turnout in the Seimas election runoff during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that civic activity shows that special circumstances unite people.
Nauseda also says he hopes for a "more uniting political culture" from the new parliament.
"Probably the most difficult parliament election in the history of post-independence Lithuania has ended. Numerous times we have heard the concerns of whether people would come to vote amid the spreading coronavirus and whether we would be able to ensure a smooth and, most importantly, safe election process," the president wrote on Facebook after polling stations closed on October 25.
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