Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis sees the October parliamentary elections, which changed the country's political map, as the most important 2016 event in the country, noting that the terrorist attacks in Europe were the most important worldwide.
Saulius Skvernelis
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"In my opinion, the elections to the Seimas was one of the major events, as it led to certain changes, rather radical ones, some parties did not win mandates. One of the memorable events is the cases of political corruption, which showed that our country's law-enforcement has the potential and the determination to bring more transparency to our political life, that it has a spine and the potential to show who really has the power in the country – first of all the people and the society," Skvernelis told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday morning in comment of the most important events of the outgoing year.

The October general elections were triumphant for the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union, which delegated Skvernelis to head the government. LPGU, which currently has he largest political group with 58 mandates, had a single member in the parliament of 2012-2016. The elections strongly undermined the position of the Social Democratic Party, while the Labor Party, which was part of the ruling coalition in the earlier term, did not cross the required 5-percent threshold and has two representatives elected in single-member voting.

The Liberal Movement's ratings were greatly slashed by the corruption scandal that erupted in spring when the party's then leader Eligijus Masiulis faced suspicions of accepting a bribe of 106,000 euros from MG Baltic concern's vice-president Raimundas Kurlianskis "for certain decisions favorable and beneficial for the concern". Nevertheless, the Liberal Movement secured sufficient support in the elections to have a political group of 14 members, which is the largest group in the party's history.

Speaking about the key events worldwide, Skvernelis listed the terrorist attacks in Europe and the US presidential elections that were victorious for Donald Trump.

"The challenge we faced in connection to terrorism, the painful events that shocked Europe, the world and the public, showing that the 21st century includes a major and, in a sense, invisible enemy, therefore, our attitudes must change. We used to absolutize certain human rights, which is very important, and stated that any possible restrictions and storage of information was an infringement of personal privacy, the events that occurred across Europe forced us to open our eyes and gave push to some highly needed legal acts in connection to international cooperation and efforts against potential threats and challenges," the prime minister said about global events.

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