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Lithuanian centre-right opposition wins poll

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Lithuanian centre-right opposition wins poll

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The centre-right conservative opposition in Lithuania has come first in a parliamentary election but faces a tough challenge to form a coaltion government.

The leader of the Homeland Union, Andrius Kubilis, a former prime minister, is hoping for a best case scenario coalition majority of 79 seats.

He is looking to form a working government alongside the National Resurrection Party founded last year by TV quiz show host Arunas Valinskas, two other smaller centre right groups and the Liberal Movement and its allies.

The victory puts an end to seven years of Social Democrat rule amid anger over double digit inflation and fears the global credit crunch and financial crisis could hit growth and jobs.

A key target for Lithuania is entry into the eurozone. The outgoing government had claimed that would be possible in 2011 but the slowing economy looks likely to extinguish that hope.

Relations with Moscow could become cooler as the centre-right is suspicious of a newly aggressive Russia after the Georgia conflict.