The majority party in the Seimas since the 1996 parliamentary elections was the conservative Homeland Union Party, or TS, led by Vytautas Landsbergis, which won 70 out of 141 seats. Overall, 28 parties competed for the 141 parliamentary seats in elections held on 20 October 1996 (first round) and 10 November 1996 (second round). The other party of the right wing, the Christian Democrats, also did well, winning 16 seats, and entered into a coalition government with the TS and the Lithuanian Center Union, which won 13 seats. The Democratic Labor Party (composed mostly of ex-communists), which had been the majority party in the previous parliament, was humiliated, winning only 12 seats. Other parties with parliamentary representation included the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party and the Lithuanian Democratic Party.
The Homeland Union-Conservative coalition suffered in the October 2000 parliamentary elections, capturing only nine seats. Former president Algirdas Brazauskas led four leftist parties in a Social Democratic Coalition, winning 51 of the 141 seats in parliament. However, a coalition ("New Policy") composed of the ideologically diverse Liberal Union (33 seats), New Alliance(28), Center Union (2), Modern Christian Democratic Union (3), and two smaller parties formed a new government, bypassing the Social Democratic Coalition. Rolandas Paksas was named prime minister.