Labour Party to absorb New Union

  • 2011-04-11
  • TBT Staff

The Social Liberal Party has been absorbed by former ruling coalition partners the Labour Party.

VILNIUS -- Leaders of Lithuania's Social Liberal Party, New Union, have announced that they will join the Labour Party.

New Union was a member of the ruling coalition government from 2000 until 2008, when the party took a major hit in the parliamentary elections. Following 2008 they hold only one seat in the 141-member Seimas.

The merger was announced at a joint press conference on April 9, following a landmark meeting between the two parties.

Labour Party leader Viktor Uspaskich, a Russian-born millionaire whose political career has been plagued by financial scandals, said that the merger would provide a much needed boost to the party through the "synergy effect".

“We are glad over the decision as we believe we’ll achieve the synergy effect after the merger. I think there will be no disagreements over interests, ideology and peoples’ attitudes,” Uspaskich said.

The Labour party also took a major hit in 2008, securing just 10 seats after four years as the most powerful party in parliament and the leading member of the ruling coalition.

New Union head Arturas Paulauskas, for his part, said the party had assessed its options and decided that Labour was their closest ally ideologically.