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Exit Poll: Opposition Party Winning Lithuania's Vote for Parliament - 2004-10-10


An early exit poll in Lithuania indicates that an opposition party founded by an ethnic Russian businessman is the first round winner in Lithuania's first parliamentary elections since joining NATO and the European Union.

The poll indicates the Labor Party of Viktor Uspaskich has won about 28 percent of the vote Sunday, with the ruling Social Democratic-Social Liberal coalition coming in second - as predicted in pre-election surveys - with just over 20 percent of the vote.

With one hour remaining in the election, just under 37 percent of Lithuania's eligible voters had cast ballots. Election Commission officials said an additional 7.6 percent of the Baltic country's 2.6 million registered voters had filed absentee ballots.

Second-round balloting will take place October 24 in those districts where no candidate has received more than half the vote.

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