Lithuania's parliament fails to reject president's veto on lower electoral threshold

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-14 23:38:36|Editor: yan
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VILNIUS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Lithuanian parliament failed on Tuesday to reject President Gitanas Nauseda's veto on reducing the existing election threshold to 3 percent for political parties and to 5 percent for party coalition.

The ruling coalition had to secure 71 votes in order to overturn the veto, but failed just one vote short. 70 MPs voted in favor of rejecting the veto, 51 voted against and 2 abstained.

The outcome of the vote means that during the next parliamentary elections, which will take place on October 11, 2020, the existing law will be applied and political parties will have to surpass at least 5 percent threshold, while party coalition lists will have to receive at least 7 percent of votes in order to win seats in the parliament.

Povilas Maciulis, the president's adviser, said during parliamentary debates before the ballot that lowering the electoral threshold would result in the parliament's fragmentation, making it harder to form the ruling coalition and bringing instability to both the parliament and the government.

Meanwhile, the ruling Farmers and Greens Union leader Ramunas Karbauskis earlier claimed that lower electoral threshold would ensure more democracy in Lithuania.

The proposal by Lithuania's ruling parties to lower the existing election threshold was backed by the parliament on December 10, last year. President Nauseda later in December refused to sign the law and sent it back for deliberation at the parliament.