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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lithuanian Parties Spar

VILNIUS -- Lithuania's ruling and opposition parties traded charges Monday over who was responsible for a national referendum on economic policy that failed to attract enough votes to be valid.

Saturday's poll, called to decide whether bank savings going back to 1991 should be multiplied by a huge amount to compensate for inflation, was forced by the conservative opposition.

But the venture flopped when only 36.8 percent of the electorate of the Baltic state turned out, well below the 50 percent needed to make the poll valid.

Apart from the ruling Democratic Labor Party, the proposed savings indexation had been opposed by international experts, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The ruling party argued that the referendum, in which President Algirdas Brazauskas also refused to vote, was clearly aimed at embarrassing it and was designed to force early elections.