Lithuania president vetoes Labor Party

Lithuania president vetoes Labor Party

VILNIUS - Reuters
Lithuania’s president vetoed plans yesterday by three opposition parties to form a government after a weekend election, saying claims of vote buying and tax fraud made one of them unfit to rule.

Voters turned against Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius’ austerity-minded administration on Oct. 28, in a warning for other European governments pushing through tough budgets.

That put an alliance of the opposition Social Democratic Party, the Labor Party and the party of an impeached former president in prime position to succeed him.

But President Dalia Grybauskaite, a former EU budget commissioner who is popular with the electorate, refused to accept the Labor Party, which faces allegations of buying votes during the two rounds of balloting.

“A party which is suspected of gross violations in the election, which is suspected of false accounting and non-transparent activities, cannot participate in the government’s formation,” Grybauskaite told a news conference.

The three opposition parties had said they would ease the pain of Kubilius’ harsh budget cuts, which have forced many Lithuanians to emigrate in search of work.