Incumbent Vilnius Mayor Alekna (pictured) looks set to lose his position to Arturas Zuokas. (photo: vilnius.lt)
VILNIUS - Preliminary results from the weekend's municipal elections in Lithuania indicate that the country's ruling parties are facing significant losses at the polls.
The biggest winners so far appear to be the Social Democrats, who are looking to claw their way back into power after having been ousted in the 2008 elections.
With about two thirds of the ballots counted so far, former Vilnius City Mayor Arturas Zuokas looks set to reclaim his position from incumbent Raimundas Alekna. Zuokas was convicted of corruption during his first term, but remains a popular leader. Zuokas currently holds a 2% lead over his closest rival, a party dedicated to Polish and Russian minorities.
In Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas, the ruling conservative party is leading with more than 20% of the vote - but this appears to be one of the only districts in which Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius' party holds a comfortable lead.
This year's historic municipal election boasts the largest number of candidates in Lithuanian history, with more than 1,500 people on the ballots nation-wide.
It is also the first election in which non-partisan candidates were able to nominate themselves.