On October 23 voters closed the door on a number of political old guard, the hopes of many who wished to keep their membership in Seimas were broken. The moods of those who failed to be re-elected vary – some intend to savour their freedom, some intend to seek work or spend time with their families. In total there will be 82 new faces in Seimas, 5 of them returning after a break. 59 members of Seimas were re-elected, but a large number of the old guard will be gone.
The Seimas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The Social Democrats

For example among the Social Democrats we will no longer see Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, Bronius Bradauskas, Birutė Vėsaitė, Benediktas Juodka, Milda Petrauskienė, Edvardas Žakaris, Giedrė Purvaneckienė and others.

The first Social Democrat to right under the entry line, B. Bradauskas, says he does not feel saddened.

“No sadness at all, I relinquished my single-mandate district myself, but entered the list just in case. I am satisfied with the result, I rose from 30th to 15th, but of course that was too little. This is due to some figures in our party not doing what they should have,” B. Bradauskas told Delfi. Bradauskas intends to travel with his wife, stating that at his age (73) he wants to live for himself a bit. From 1994 to 1996 the politician was Minister of Environment and spent four terms in Seimas. His parting comments are critical of his party, citing a trio of Labour Code, Sodra payment ceilings and notions of tax raises as likely reasons for the party taking only third place.

M.A. Pavilionienė also intends to rest and live for herself, going as far as stating that she is happy she has not entered Seimas. “I will become a free person. I always spoke what I wanted, which I will continue to do, but physically I was where I was and with the current composition of the Seimas I do not wish to be. In terms of civic duty, I have done everything in my life,” the member of Seimas said.

The Conservatives

Among the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats we will no longer see veterans such as Vilija Aleknaitė Abramikienė, Vincė Vaidevutė Margevičienė, Arvydas Vidžiūnas, Valentinas Stundys, Donatas Jankauskas as well as former Kaunas mayor Andrius Kupčinskas.

Aleknaitė Abramiekienė believes she needs to take a break and observe the situation as it develops, hopefully for the better. “Politics has always been my hobby, but over 20 years it also became my profession thus I cannot discard it all straight away. But the experience of this election suggests that society naturally wishes for new faces to emerge. New faces with which it associates new hope. It would be great if they are not disappointed,” she said.

Another Conservative V. Stundys is unwilling to depart politics right away either, citing perceptions of the Conservative party as the reason for his failure to enter Seimas. Nevertheless for now he intends to take some time off. “I will just rest and see how the situation develops, then further plans will become clearer. For now I am in a calm state of mind, I need to take a breath, look around and probably get to work after that,” said Stundys.

The Liberal Movement

The Liberal Movement lost veteran politicians such as Dalia Kuodytė, Dalia Teišerskytė and Arminas Lydeka.

Both D. Kuodytė and A. Lydeka are unsure of how they will proceed hereon, but Lydeka notes that he is intent on getting to work, stating that “I am unsure about future plans. I am open to suggestions and ideas, I think I will do something. My age is still at a point where I can do something for society. I am not yet 50, I have experience in political, academic and diplomatic work. I believe I will do something useful,” explained Lydeka.

The Labour Party

The Labour Party bled the most, having only obtained two seats in Seimas. On Sunday the hopes of Minister of Agriculture Virginija Baltraitienė and Chairwoman of the Healthcare Committee Dangutė Mikutienė were dashed. Already after the first round it became clear that we will not be seeing Seimas Speaker Loreta Graužienienė, Minister of Education and Science Audronė Pitrėnienė, Artūras Paulauskas, Vytautas Gapšys, Gintaras Tamošiūnas, Mečislovas Zasčiurinskas, Vydas Gedvilas, Kęstutis Daukšys, Šarūnas Birutis and a group of other Labourites.

D. Mikutienė has spent 16 years in Seimas and is intent on continuing a political career, stating that “I will learn to work better. Most likely I did a poor job that I did not receive the voter’s trust. It means that I need to be more effective, work better, learn, and improve political knowledge. The voter’s will is sacred,” she said.

The Minister of Agriculture Virginija Baltraitienė intends to look for work after her term in Seimas ends, but is not dismissing the possibility of remaining in politics and intends to participate in public life in the Kėdainiai region. She cites the crises she worked under and the difficult decisions made as one of the major reasons for her loss. “There are a few reasons for my loss. While working as Minister of Agriculture and making certain unpopular, but necessary decisions, this only turns against the minister. Another thing is that I was possibly the only for many years who had to work during three crises – Russian embargo, dairy crisis and African swine fever. These were three big events that shook Lithuanian agriculture and it had repercussions,” spoke Baltraitienė.

Order and Justice

Order and Justice will lose Rimantas Antanas Ručys, Vytautas Kamblevičius and Ona Valiukevičiūtė who has worked in Seimas for three terms.

“I intend to live on. I will not be returning to the stage, nor am I thinking about politics yet, I simply need to get used to the idea that I am free. I’ll see what to do, I have no big plans,” spoke Valiukevičiūtė, pointing out she will need to get used to the freedom.

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