Lithuanians begin voting in parliamentary poll

VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lithuanians began voting in a parliamentary election on Sunday against a backdrop of double-digit inflation and fears its once high flying economy will be sucked into the global financial crisis.

Worries about a newly assertive Russia after its war with Georgia over the South Ossetia region have also been on the minds of some voters in the former Soviet republic, opinion polls show.

Analysts say no party will win a majority in the 141-seat parliament, meaning tough coalition talks are likely in the European Union and NATO member nation which only threw off Moscow’s rule in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The ruling center-left Social Democrats and the main opposition Homeland Union-Christian Democrat Party are both vying to be in the driving seat at the talks.

A new government has to keep Lithuania on the road to euro adoption, which analysts say could happen in 2011 or 2012.

Voting began at 7 a.m. (12 a.m. EDT) and will end at 8 p.m. (1 p.m. EDT).

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