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Lithuania’s Sluggish Economy Leads Election Debates

Lithuania’s sluggish economy has dominated debate in an election where the ruling Social Democrats look to have taken an early lead in the first round. 

However, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius’ centre left party could be toppled if alliances shift later in the month. He has admitted that forming a new coalition will be very tough. He told Reuters that he can only hope to end up back in power.

If he were to lose his lead, Lithuania’s new leader would likely be 34 year old Gabrielius Landsbergis, who would become the youngest Prime Minister in the European Union. He is the grandson of Lithuania’s first leader following independence in 1990 and is head of the centre right Homeland Union party.

The major issue of the election has been the sluggish state of the Lithuanian economy, which has struggled to attract foreign investment following the downturn and speedy recovery in 2009. Whilst the country has experienced growth, it has been slow and is perceived in the country to be a fragile recovery.

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