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Social Democrats win Lithuania vote

VILNIUS, Lithuania — A center-left opposition party that campaigned on promises to end budget cuts and increase social spending has won Lithuania’s parliamentary election, according to a near-complete vote count late Sunday, marking a defeat of four years of unpopular austerity measures.

The Social Democrats, which governed from 2001 to 2008, vowed to form a coalition government that would end current austerity policies. They also promised to spend more to boost living standards in the small East European nation, which in 2009 and 2010 saw one of Europe’s worst recessions.

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‘‘I think [the next government] will be center-left,’’ Social Democratic leader Algirdas Butkevicius said after casting his ballot. ‘‘More funds should be given to sectors that stimulate production,’’ he added, pointing out that living standards in Lithuania were declining vis-a-vis those in neighboring Poland and Latvia.

According to unofficial results, the Social Democrats mustered roughly 38 seats, while probable partners — the Labor Party and Order & Justice — finished with 30 and 11 seats, respectively.

The three parties, which would control approximately 79 seats in the 141-seat Parliament, vowed to form a coalition after the first round of voting two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the current ruling party, the conservative Homeland Union-Christian Democrats, which is led by Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, finished second with 32 seats.

Kubilius’s government began in 2008 at the start of ­Europe’s financial crisis.

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