Lithuanian parliament lowers electoral threshold, president "sceptic"

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-11 01:37:24|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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VILNIUS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania's Parliament backed on Tuesday a proposal by the ruling parties to reduce the existing election threshold to 3 percent for political parties and to 5 percent for party coalition.

The decision was adopted after 60 members of parliament voted in favor, 1 against and 8 abstained.

The proposal was put forward by Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, and Naglis Puteikis, leader of the Center Party. The authors of the initiative claimed that the move is aimed to create more opportunities for minor parties to be represented in politics.

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda said he was "skeptic" about the decision. Earlier he supported the initial bill version which stipulated the lowering of the election threshold for political parties to 4 percent and to 6 percent for coalitions.

"Lowering the threshold even more would mean that we are on the path to the emergence of structures in the parliament that would destabilize the ruling coalition and certainly cause more chaos," Nauseda was quoted by local media as speaking to reporters while visiting Utena town in northeast Lithuania on Tuesday.

The president did not reveal whether he would veto the law.

"There are certain deadlines. Today I expressed my opinion and it is skeptical. The answer will come when the time comes," said Nauseda.

At the moment, political parties in Lithuania must surpass at least 5 percent threshold in elections, while party coalition lists must receive at least 7 percent of votes in order to win seats in the parliament.