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Lithuanian Opposition Moves Closer to Coalition Pact, BNS Says

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Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Lithuania’s Social Democrats, who won this month’s election, plan to sign a coalition agreement as soon as next week with a party the country’s president wants to exclude from the government, the Baltic News Service news service reported.

“We’re moving systematically toward our goal” of signing the agreement on Nov. 6, Social Democrat leader Algirdas Butkevicius said after talks today with the Labor Party and Order & Justice in Vilnius, the capital, according to BNS.

President Dalia Grybauskaite, who must approve a new prime minister and Cabinet, said Oct. 29 she wouldn’t support any coalition that included Labor, citing criminal cases against the party and some of its leaders for election and accounting violations. Labor leader Viktor Uspaskich told reporters the same day that the charges were politically motivated.

The three parties invited the Lithuanian Polish Election Action party to join its coalition talks, potentially increasing their bloc to 86 seats from 78 in Lithuania’s 141-member parliament, BNS reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bryan Bradley in Vilnius at bbradley13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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