Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Little story of Vilnius
Almost a month ago Lithuania was electing its new municipal representatives. See my earlier post on that. Finally our capital three weeks after the poll agreed on the new mayor and the new leadership. Votes produced a broad range of parties entering into the City Council where Liberal Democrats (14) (party of the impeached President) took most seats, followed by Conservatives (10), Liberal Centre Union (party of former Mayor allegedly involved into corruption networks)(9), Social Democrats(6), Polish Electoral Action(6), Liberal Movement(4) and Lithuanian Union of Russians (2).
There were number of attempts to former the ruling coalition:
Clean Coalition of: Conservatives, Social Democrats, Liberal Movement
Winners Coalition of: Liberal Democrats, Poles and Russians
There were number of taboo coalitions, which is rather funny, but worth telling:
Conservatives and Liberal Movement refused to go into coalition with Liberal Democrats and Liberal Centre Union
Social democrats refused to go into coalition with Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats refused to go into coalition with Liberal Centre Union
Begging of the solution was started by Poles, who stated, that they will respect the choice of people and go into the coalition with the Winners (Winners coalition), which made 14 + 6=20, which created a missing link of at least 6 more votes. Moreover Social Democrats entered into a huge fight where the President of the Vilnius branch supported the idea of coalition with Liberal Democrats, but the elderly "Central Committee" strongly opposed.
After all as in every nice story there is a happy ending...
Mayor was elected. Mr. Imbrasas is Liberal Democrat (that previously has been conservative and liberal), but he is not Mr. Paksas, whom everyone were so fearful off, so easier to strike a deal as it would seem. And indeed this worked, mayor was supported by 14+6 + 4 out of 6 Social Democrats and 4 Liberal Movement representatives that offered a golden vote... But is the cost of such a vote...
Liberal Movement, being the party that I would normally support in the elections, compromised on its values, while supporting the party of ousted President and ripping apart their electoral promise not to co-operate with Liberal Democrats. Now there is a talk about the fact that they joined the coalition, but will stay in opposition to the current leadership, internal party temperature is high as this move was not approved by everyone. For me as a citizen this situation represents a serious blow as from now onwards I have no party that I could fully subscribe to or support...
Despite of all this, Vilnius remains a beautiful place to visit and enjoy. So please do not hesitate!