Who governed Lithuania since 1990?

On 24 February 1990 in a still occupied Lithuania the first free elections to the Supreme Council were conducted. On 11 March 1990, Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on its third meeting adopted an act "On Reconstruction of the Independent State of Lithuania", which expressed a will of the Nation and restored Independence of Lithuania. The Republic of Lithuania entered into a new stage of parliamentarism.

Who governed Lithuania since 1990?

Since the first independent time period in Lithuania, five Seimas' were set up: 1) Constituent Seimas (1920–1922) 2) I Seimas (1922–1923); 3) II Seimas (1923–1926); 4) III Seimas (1926–1927); 5) IV Seimas (1936–1940), that is why after having restored the independence, from 1990 working Seimas are called: 1) V Seimas – Supreme Council- Reconstituent Seimas (1990–1992), 2) VI Seimas (1992–1996), 3) VII Seimas (1996–2000), 4) VIII Seimas (2000–2004), 5) IX Seimas (2004–2008), 6) X Seimas (2008–2012), 7) XI Seimas (2012–2016), 8) XII Seimas (2016–2020). After 1990 the only Supreme Council-Reconstituent Seimas has not worked for the whole term – on 25 October 1992, premature elections to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania were conducted.

Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania adopted on 25 October 1992 by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania during the referendum, provided that Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania shall consist of 141 representatives of the Nation, appointed for four years adhering to the principles of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The Members of the Seimas are elected in 71 single-member constituencies and 1 multi-member constituency in mixed-system elections. In single-member constituencies 71 Members of the Seimas are elected in two election rounds, and in the multi-member constituency 70 Members of the Seimas are elected according to the proportional system of elections. The right to take part in the distribution of mandates is won by the parties whose list of candidates received over 5 percent of all votes cast in the elections. Coalitions have to cross the threshold of 7 percent of all votes cast.

Since 1990 composition of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania kept changing: new political parties were set up, others joined and created coalitions, and others overall disappeared from the political map of Lithuania. On the following charts political parties are presented from the right- to the left-wing, according to the seats of members of the Seimas in the Plenary Chamber. In all charts the right-wing was assigned a blue colour, the left-wing – red colour. Respectively the other political parties were assigned the colours according to their assignment to "the right-wing", "the left-wing" and "the centre", from dark to light blue, from dark red to orange, from yellow to green. On all charts political parties are marked using the same colours.

The first chart presents a detailed composition of each Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania according to the results of the election day, separately showing the composition of each term of office of the Seimas (in the legends of the graphs, next to a name of each political party, a number of received mandates is presented) and percentage of received mandates..
 

Graph No 1 "Composition of Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania according to the results on the day of the elections"

 

After 1990, eight Seimas' were chaired by ten speakers. The most terms of office of a Speaker of the Seimas were held by Česlovas Juršėnas, for the longest time period – overall one whole term of office consisting of four years – as a Speaker of the Seimas was Vytautas Landsbergis. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, in the event that the President of the Republic dies, resigns, or is removed from office according to the procedure for impeachment proceedings, or the Seimas decides that the state of health of the President of the Republic does not allow him to hold the office, the office of the President of the Republic shall temporarily be held by the Speaker of the Seimas. In these factual circumstances, when at the time the President of the Republic of Lithuania was removed from the office according to the procedure for impeachment proceedings, Česlovas Juršėnas from the VIII Seimas (2000–2004) during his term of office from 20 April 2004 until 11 July of the same year temporarily held office of Speaker of the Seimas, because the Speaker of the Seimas Artūras Paulauskas at the time was temporarily holding office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. It shall be noted that a phrase "the office of the President of the Republic shall temporarily be held by the Speaker of the Seimas" used in the Constitution, marks a certain legal situation, when the powers of the President of the Republic are ceased, however a new President of the Republic is not elected yet. In such case, the Speaker of the Seimas shall lose his powers at the Seimas while holding the office of the President of the Republic.

 

Graph No 2 "Speakers of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania since 1990"

 

Since duration of a term of office of the current Speaker of the Seimas – Viktoras Pranckietis – is unknown, on the graph the duration is shown until this (i.e. publishing of this article) date.

After the restoration of independence, in the Republic of Lithuania have worked 17 Prime Ministers. In the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania it is provided, that the Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic upon the assent of the Seimas, shall charge the Prime Minister with forming the Government; and shall approve the formed composition. Also, has a right to release the Prime Minister from duties.

 

Graph No 3 "Prime Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania since elections of the Supreme Council-Reconstituent Seimas in 1990"

 

On the timeline of the third graph are presented all appointed Prime Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania and dates of their appointment after the restoration of independence of the Republic of Lithuania.

The fourth graph illustrates composition of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania since 1990. It shall be noted, that in the legend next to the names of political parties are presented the terms of office of the Seimas, during which the political parties had that name.

 

Graph No 4 „Composition of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania according to the results of a day of the election 1990–2016"

 

*Note: meaning of the "Other political parties" on the graph: Trade Union (1990), Union of Workers (darbininkų sąjunga) (1990),  not indicated (1990), Lithuanian Democratic Party (1990, 1992), Lithuanian Lawyers Society (1990), Lithuanian National Union (1992), Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners (1992), Lithuanian Centre Movement (1992), Lithuanian National Union and Democratic Party Coalition (1996), Lithuanian Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees (1992, 1996), New Democracy Party (1996, 2000), Christian Democratic Union (1996, 2000), Lithuanian Centre Union (2000), Moderate Conservative Union (2000), Lithuanian Freedom Union (2000), Modern Christian Democratic Union (2000), Liberal and Centre Union (2004, 2008), The New Union (Social Liberals) (2000, 2004, 2008), Political Party "Lithuanian List" (2016), Lithuanian Centre Union (2016).

In the legend, having picked one of the political parties, there is information presented on how many members of the Seimas during that particular term the political party had. It shall be noted, that not during all elections to the Seimas, 141 members have been elected: during general elections conducted in 1990, 1996 and 2012, there have been elected less than 141 members of the Seimas.

Summarising the presented analysis, it shall be concluded, that in the restored Republic of Lithuania the left-wing governed longer than the right-wing. Moreover, for more than the last 10 years, results of elections to the Seimas show that the central political parties are gaining strength. Until 2016 they did not have a majority of seats in the Parliament, which would allow to form a government. However, in 2016 the pendulum principle – when the state is governed in turns by the left- and right-wing – ceased to be in force.