Liberals Movement of the Republic of Lithuania

Lietuvos Respublikos Liberalų sąjūdis
AbbreviationLRLS
ChairwomanViktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen
First Vice ChairmanVitalijus Gailius
Vice Chairpeople
Executive SecretaryDainius Petravičius
Founded25 February 2006 (2006-02-25)
Split fromLiberal and Centre Union
HeadquartersVašingtono a. 1, Vilnius
Membership7,722 (1 October 2018 (2018-10-01))[1]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[3][4]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
ColoursOrange
Seimas
13 / 141
Cabinet of Lithuania
2 / 14
European Parliament
1 / 11
Municipal councils
217 / 1,473
Mayors
8 / 60
Website
www.liberalai.lt

The Liberal Movement of the Republic of Lithuania[3][4][5][6] (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublikos Liberalų sąjūdis), abbreviated to LRLS, is a conservative-liberal[2] political party in Lithuania.

History

Foundation, participation in the government and growth (2006–2016)

The party was founded in 2006 by dissident members of the Liberal and Centre Union that were unhappy with Artūras Zuokas's leadership.

In the summer of 2006, the Liberal Movement started cooperating with the Homeland Union (as the Liberal and Centre Union before joining Kirkilas Cabinet).[7] In the 2007 municipal elections the party got 4.66 per cent of national vote.

In the legislative elections of 2008 it gained 11 seats in the Seimas and 5.72 percent of the national vote. The LRLS formed a coalition with the Homeland Union, the Liberal and Centre Union, and the National Resurrection Party. This coalition gained a combined governmental majority of 80 out of 141 seats in the Seimas, led by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius of the Homeland Union. At the subsequent elections of 2012, the party lost one seat to finish with 10 seats in the Seimas and 8.57 percent of the national vote.

Just month before the 2011 municipal election, the party started to describe itself as "rational mind right-wingers" (Lithuanian: sveiko proto dešinieji), which amplified possibility to win over the Liberal and Centre Union and the Homeland Union.[8] The party's support started to grow. In 2014 European Parliament election and 2015 municipal election the party got 16.55 and 15.49 per cent of the national vote respectively. This growth was mainly at expense of the Liberal and Centre Union and the Lithuanian Freedom Union (Liberals), which got 1.48 and per 4.91 cent of national vote 2014 and 2015 elections respectively. It was also attributed to the previously undecided voters or voters of other parties (the Homeland Union, the Order and Justice and Labour Party).[9]

Corruption scandal, decline, internal disagreements and joining the government for the second time (since 2016)

After the party's leader Eligijus Masiulis allegedly took a bribe of 106,000 euros, Antanas Guoga temporarily took his position on May 13, 2016.[10] He was the chairman for four days only before resigning. One month later, the mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius was elected as party's chairman.

The corruption case of Eligijus Masiulis is still ongoing. He claims that the money was a loan he received from a local businessman.[11] The party has denied any connection to the seized money.

Šimašius leadership didn't last long and in 2017 Eugenijus Gentvilas was elected as a new leader.[12]

In preparations for 2019 municipal elections, several districts' committees (most notably in Vilnius, Klaipėda and Varėna districts) decided to form public election committees. Liberal Movement board annulled districts' committees decisions. In return, districts' committees of Vilnius, Klaipėda and Varėna districts leaders (Aušrinė Armonaitė, Vytautas Grubliauskas and Algis Kašėta respectively) resigned from their positions or left the party altogether.[13][14]

One of these public election committees, "For Vilnius, which we are proud of!", in summer of 2019 formed a basis for a new party, the Freedom Party. Aforementioned public election committees (along side with one in Elektrėnai) joined new party as well.

On the other hand, public election committee "For changes in Pagėgiai area" prior to the 2020 parliamentary election joined the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, while the most of members of the Order and Justice (which dissolved itself in 2020) in the same area became members of the Liberal Movement.[15]

In 2020 parliamentary election the managed to get seven per cent of votes. It later joined coalition with the Homeland Union and the Freedom Party.

Elections

Seimas

Election year Votes % Seats won +/- Government
2008 70,862 5.73
11 / 141
Increase11 Government
2012 117,476 8.95
10 / 141
Decrease1 Opposition
2016 115,361 9.45
14 / 141
Increase4 Opposition
2020 79,755 6.79
13 / 141
Decrease1 Government

Members of the European Parliament

Parliamentarian Occupation From
Petras Auštrevičius Diplomat 2014

Members of Seimas

Parliamentarian[16] Previous mandate[16] Current mandate from[16] Constituency[16]
Virgilijus Alekna - 2016 Nationwide
Juozas Baublys - 2016 Varėna-Trakai
Viktorija Čmilytė - 2015 Nationwide
Vitalijus Gailius - 2012 Pakruojis-Joniškis
Arūnas Gelūnas - 2016 Nationwide
Eugenijus Gentvilas 1990–1992 2012 Nationwide
Simonas Gentvilas - 2016 Nationwide
Kęstutis Glaveckas 1990–1992 1996 Nationwide
Ričardas Juška - 2016 Jurbarkas-Pagėgiai
Jonas Liesys 2008–2012 2016 Trakai-Vievis
Gintaras Vaičekauskas - 2016 Pajūrio (Klaipėda)
Jonas Varkalys - 2016 Plungė

Mayors

Mayor[17] Municipality[17]
Gediminas Čepulis Joniškio rajonas
Antanas Černeckis Rietavas
Saulius Grinkevičius Kėdainiai
Algis Kašėta Varėnos rajonas
Audrius Klišonis Plungės rajonas
Sigitas Mičiulis Tauragės rajonas
Edita Rudelienė Trakų rajonas
Kęstutis Vaitukaitis Elektrėnų rajonas

Vice-mayors

Vice-mayor[17] Municipality[17]
Jonas Eugenijus Bačinskas Rietavas
Kęstutis Bagdanavičius Kalvarijos
Simonas Kairys Kaunas
Algis Mačiulis Šiaulių rajonas
Apolinaras Nicius Akmenės rajonas
Danutė Skruibienė Kretingos rajonas
Judita Simonavičiūtė Klaipėda
Valdas Petras Mikelionis Lazdijų rajonas
Artūras Šulcas Klaipėdos rajonas

See also

References

  1. ^ Ministry of Justice (Lithuania) (1 October 2018). "Lietuvos Respublikos politinių partijų sąrašas" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Slomp, Hans (26 September 2011). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 536. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8.
  3. ^ a b The New York Times (27 October 2008). "Center-Right to Form Lithuanian Coalition". Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Adomaitis, Nerijus (26 October 2008). "Lithuanian Centre-Right Wins Vote as Slowdown Looms". Reuters. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  5. ^ Seputyte, Milda (26 October 2008). "Lithuanian Homeland Union Secures Victory in Election Run-Off". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  6. ^ The Economist (11 March 2009). "Lithuania: Political Structure". Retrieved 22 September 2011. (registration required)
  7. ^ Digrytė, Eglė. "Konservatoriai ir liberalai formuos savo koaliciją". DELFI.
  8. ^ "Liberalai per savivaldos rinkimus reklamuosis kaip sveiko proto dešinieji" – via tv.lrytas.lt.
  9. ^ "Lietuvos Respublikos liberalų sąjūdis: žlugę per vieną dieną?". August 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Antanavičius, Ugnius (13 May 2016). "Pokerio žaidėjas, tapęs liberalų vedliu: įdomiausi A.Guogos biografijos faktai". 15min.lt. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  11. ^ Noreika, Matas (18 April 2018). "Eligijus Masiulis: aš grąžinau Raimondui Kurlianskiui paskolą". Verslo žinios. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  12. ^ "Liberalai tarė savo žodį dėl lyderio: partijai vadovaus Eugenijus Gentvilas". tv3.lt.
  13. ^ "Armonaitė traukiasi iš Liberalų sąjūdžio vicepirmininkių". DELFI.
  14. ^ "Liberalų sąjūdis byra toliau – partiją palieka ir Vytautas Grubliauskas". lrytas.lt. November 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "Šilokarčema - Pūstelėjo permainų vėjas Pagėgių politikoje". www.silokarcema.lt.
  16. ^ a b c d "Liberals Movement Political Group". Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d "Merai ir vicemerai". Lietuvos Respublikos Liberalų sąjūdis. Retrieved 2019-01-19.