Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania 1992 - 1996
Elections were held on 25 October - 15 November 1992
141 representatives were elected
Algirdas Mykolas BRAZAUSKAS,
The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted in 1992, establishes that the State of Lithuania is an independent and democratic republic. Sovereignty in Lithuania is vested in the People. State powers are exercised by the Seimas (parliament), the President of the Republic, the Government, and the judiciary. Under the Constitution of October 1992, the Seimas of Lithuania is composed of 141 Seimas members elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.The Seimas continues the rights and traditions of earlier parliaments, established during the existence of the independent Republic of Lithuania (1918-1940), and the Supreme Council (Reconstituent Seimas), elected in 1990.
Elections to the Seimas 1992-1996 were held in two rounds on 25 October and 15 November 1992, under the terms of the new Law of Election adopted on July 19, 1992. According to the July 1992 Law, Lithuania is divided into 71 single-mandate constituencies. In addition, one multi-mandate constituency is established where all electors can cast their votes. The 141 members of the Seimas were elected according to a mixed majority and proportional representation system. In the single mandate districts elections were carried out on the basis of the number of inhabitants and administrational-territorial divisions. In the multi-mandate district elections a system of proportional representation was employed, i.e. voting for lists of candidates from political parties or their coalitions. This means that the parliamentary electoral system was a mixed one: 71 MPs were elected from single-mandate districts, and 70 MPs from multi-mandate districts.
Elections were considered valid in the multi-mandate districts if a minimum of 25 per cent of registered voters participated. Mandates could be issued to parties, movements and their coalitions if no less than 4 per cent of the electorate cast its vote. In single-mandate districts, an election was consideed valid if no less than 40 per cent of the voters participated. Candidates who received more than half of the votes cast in the election were considered elected.
Altogether 24 parties and political movements contested the Seimas seats. The candidates of only four political parties succeeded in overcoming the 4 per cent hurdle and getting seats in parliament, i.e.:
In single-member districts MPs mandates were won by the LDLP (37), Sąjūdis (11), the Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party (8), the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (3), the Lithuanian Nationalist Union (3), the Movement of Lithuanian Centrists (2), the Polish Union (2), the Independence Party (1), and others (4).
The Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party won majority of votes in the election and got 73 seats, and Sąjūdis which had controlled the parliament since February 1990 till November 1992 won 28 seats.
The Seimas convened on November 25, 1992, and elected Algirdas Brazauskas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party, Chairman of the Seimas. Algirdas Brazauskas was authorised by the Seimas to act as President of Lithuania.
The Sixth Seimas had to play a new role because it had inherited the recognition of the Republic of Lithuania and could work under more favourable conditions of the international situation. In accordance with the Constitution of 1992, another governing institution of the Republic of Lithuania was formed - the Office of the President of the Republic. On 14 February 1993, during the first universal suffrage, Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas was elected President of the Republic of Lithuania. Another candidate in the pesidential elections was Stasys Lozoraitis who defended the name of the Republic of Lithuanian in a diplomatic mission in the USA and the Holy See during the time of Soviet occupation. (Posthumously Stasys Lozoraitis was given the name of President of Hope).
On February 25, 1992, Česlovas Juršėnas, the former journalist, worker of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Republic of Lithuania, press representative of the Government during the period of changes, was elected the new Chairman of the Seimas. Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairman of the Supreme Council (Reconstituent Seimas) 1990-1992, became leader of the Opposition. In 1995 the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives) Parliamentary Group was formed which partially substituted the Sąjūdis faction.
The Lithuanian Labour Democratic Party - a left-wing party - which won the elections to the Sixth Seimas, made use of the opportunity to build an influential "pyramid" of legislative and executive power from which other political forces were excluded. On the other hand, this fact united and consolidated the parliamentary opposition, thus, the differentiation of strong political parties of Lithuania became not only clearer and more necessary but also possible.
About 40% of the laws adopted during the term in office of the Seimas 1992-1996 were related to the restructuring of economy. Laws relating to the customs, land, co-operation and the monetary reform were passed. Members of the party, which had a majority of votes in the parliament, made amendments to legal acts with respect to the said reforms and at the same time criticised decisions and laws adopted by the Supreme Council (Reconstituent Seimas) which had an effect on the economy of the country.
Nevertheless, the change in democratic power showed that traditions of parliamentarianism, which were restored and implemented, could possess distinctive consecutive features characteristic of stable development.