VILNIUS, Lithuania – Lithuanians are voting in the first round of a parliamentary election, with the governing Social Democrats facing challenges from conservatives and an agrarian party.
Lithuania, the biggest of the three Baltic countries, has struggled to stem emigration since regaining independence in the early 1990s and joining the European Union in 2004.
Both the Social Democrats, which have led a coalition government since 2012, and opposition parties have promised to raise living standards in the country of 2.9 million.
Pre-election polls showed the Social Democrats in the lead, ahead of the agrarian Peasant and Green Party and the conservative Homeland Union-Christian Democrats.
Polling stations will close at 8 p.m. (1700 GMT). A second round will be held on Oct. 23 in constituencies where no candidate wins a majority of votes.