Parliamentary elections in Lithuania entered their second round on Sunday as the number of coronavirus infections rises sharply in the Baltic state.
In the EU and NATO member state, almost 2.5 million eligible voters are electing the 68 outstanding direct mandates in the 141-seat unicameral Seimas parliament in Vilnius. The second round of voting could result in a change of government.
After the first ballot on October 11, the conservative Homeland Union gained 23 seats, ahead of the ruling Union of Farmers and Greens, which won 16 seats.
Numerous parties failed to pass the 5-per-cent hurdle to enter parliament in the first round, including the three smaller coalition partners of the Union of Farmers and Greens, but they can still make it into parliament through direct mandates.
A decision on possible coalitions should follow after the results of Sunday’s vote are known.
Strict coronavirus hygiene measures apply during the polls. In the days leading up to the election, the number of new infections in Lithuania hit new highs.
Dealing with the pandemic had also shaped the election campaign, which was dominated by economic and socio-political issues.