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Lithuanian Coalition Boosts Majority as Polish Party Joins Up

A Polish minority party joined three other Lithuanian parties seeking the president’s approval to form a government, giving the proposed coalition a three-fifths majority in parliament.

Lithuanian Polish Election Action today signed a coalition pact that the Social Democrats, the Labor Party and Order & Justice agreed on last week, Social Democrat spokeswoman Evelina Butkute said by phone from Vilnius, the capital.

The addition boosts the coalition’s weight in the 141-member parliament to 85 votes from 77, giving it enough to override some presidential vetoes, call early elections and impeach top officials. President Dalia Grybauskaite has sought to exclude Labor from the government after the Oct. 28 ballot because the party is accused of fraud and electoral violations.

“The bigger the majority, the easier it is to make and implement decisions,” Butkute said. The Polish party may control one ministry, probably the Energy Ministry, she said.

Grybauskaite won’t attend Parliament’s first session tomorrow, as is traditional, and will send written greetings instead, her office said today. The president has 15 days from when the legislature first convenes to name a prime minister, who then needs parliament’s backing to form a cabinet.

Social Democrat leader Algirdas Butkevicius, the coalition’s candidate to lead a government, has said that if the president refuses to accept the proposed coalition, the alternatives would be a minority government or new elections.

Butkevicius has repeatedly rejected proposals by outgoing Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, head of the Homeland Union-Christan Democrats who placed second in the election, to form a broad majority coalition without the Labor Party.

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