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03:09 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Lithuanian Opposition Parties Lead in Parliamentary Election

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Lithuania’s opposition parties are leading in the country’s parliamentary elections after over 50 percent of the ballots were counted, the Central Electoral Commission said on Monday.

Lithuania’s opposition parties are leading in the country’s parliamentary elections after over 50 percent of the ballots were counted, the Central Electoral Commission said on Monday.

The left-wing populist Labor Party of controversial Russian-born ex-minister and businessman Viktor Uspaskich is leading with 24.48 percent of the vote and is followed by the center-left Social Democrats of Algirdas Butkevicius with 19.49 percent.

The country’s ruling center-right coalition led by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius gained so far 11.63 percent of the vote.

The Kubilius government took office at the end of 2008 amidst the global financial and economic crisis and was forced to raise taxes and cut spending to stave off the tiny Baltic nation’s default on its debts.

Lithuania has been able to weather the economic and financial meltdown but living standards have fallen sharply since then, making Lithuanians weary of belt-tightening policies.

The commission is expected to announce the preliminary results of the elections by Monday night, while the official results will be announced on November 4.