Suspicions of vote-buying in Šilutė, in western Lithuania, may call into question the Order and Justice Party's overall results in the country's parliamentary elections, the head of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) said on Thursday.
Kęstas Komskis
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

"It is my understanding is that the question is both about the multi-member results - the individual candidate and the candidate list. The Šilutė constituency includes 22,000 voters. Another thing is that the party has over 5,000 votes over the threshold. This has happened in earlier elections (...). We will have to evaluate the multi-member voting whether (the Order and Justice party's member) Kęstas Komskis is still a candidate and whether the list remains. I believe questions will be raised by politicians, we will also have to evaluate," Zenonas Vaigauskas told BNS Lithuania on Thursday.

In his words, the commission's decisions will depend on the outcome of the pre-trial investigation. The only aspect unaffected by the probe will be the result of the Šilutė single-member constituency where Komskis came in third and cannot expect to win a mandate.

Rating during the first round of voting on October 9 pulled Komskis' position from the 2nd to the 4th , and the Order and Justice party secured 5.33 percent of the vote, which secures it five mandates in Lithuania's 141-seat parliament.

According to information provided by the election watchdog, a party must collect 63,569 votes to cross the 5-percent threshold in multi-member voting, while the Order and Justice party secured a total of 67,794 votes, which is merely 4,225 votes above the threshold.

Earlier on Thursday, Lithuanian police reported detention of seven individuals on the suspicion of vote buying in Šilutė after their homes were searched on Tuesday. Sources confirmed to BNS that Komskis, the parliamentary vice-speaker, is also mentioned in the probe.

Vaigauskas confirmed that CEC had been notified by the police about the possible vote-buying issue before Thursday.

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