The Social Democrats have mustered 38 seats in Parliament after two complete rounds of voting, which could be enough to give them the mandate to form a center-left government that would end unpopular austerity measures and boost spending in a country that in 2009-10 saw one of Europe's worst recessions.
The Social Democrats and the Labor Party, which is also in the current parliamentary opposition, have pledged to form a coalition with a smaller populist party, Order and Justice, which gained 11 seats. Together the three parties would control around 79 seats in the Baltic state's 141-seat parliament.
The Social Democrats have criticized the current government's plans to introduce the euro in 2014 and said that, if in power, would postpone phasing in the common currency until the European Union could sort out its three-year-old financial crisis.
The ruling conservative party, the Homeland Union-Christian Democrats, appears headed for second place with 32 seats after a strong showing in Sunday's single-mandate round of voting, while the populist Labor Party will likely finish third with 30 seats.
The final decision on who should become the next prime minister will be made by President Dalia Grybauskaite.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)