Uspaskich's gamble ends in failure

  • 2007-10-22
  • In cooperation with BNS

NO HIDING: Voters rejected Uspaskich's controversial run for parliament (Photo: Fotobankas)

VILNIUS -- Lithuania's Conservatives are celebrating a double victory after results of an Oct. 21 parliamentary election were announced.

Independent candidate Kestutis Cilinskas won the race for the mandate for Dzukija district, while Labor Party founder and former fugitive Viktor Uspaskich was defeated.

After a year in hiding in Russia, Uspaskich emerged to contest the election, whch would have given him immunity from prosecution related to financial fraud charges.

"Definitely, it is very pleasant because this person was elected, because a bad person didn't win and, finally, because the elections were not won by money," honorary leader of the Conservatives and Euro parliamentarian Vytautas Landsbergis, told BNS.

In his opinion, Cilinskas' vistory is pleasant but does not indicate any significant changes on Lithuania's political arena, which will only emerge after general elections to the Seimas take place next fall.

Data provided by the Central Electoral Committee suggests that Cilinskas, who is not affiliated with any political party, received 55.33 percent of the vote, while 42.73 percent of voters in the southern Alytus region supported Uspaskich.

Voter turnout by 7 p.m. local time on Sunday was 23.16 percent of about 40,000 registered voters, in addition to 5.99 percent who had voted by post or at home. The turnout of voters was approximately 25 percent in the first round of elections two weeks ago.