Waldemar Tomaszweski : we have big chances to win.

On October 14 th Lithuania is going to have elections for parliament and is going to choose new members of parliament which will have a number of 141 persons. Half of the number of deputies is chosen by first to win procedure. Another half gets the seats from the list of  Party. Several of Lithuanian poles starts from the list, which are Lithuanian wide. However, as an representative of that society is believed to be EAPL. That party was established in 1994 as a political part of association of Poles in Lithuania when social organization were forbidden to be a part in elections. For today, in the Seym of Lithuania there are three deputies of EAPL which were chosen by first to win process in a Vilnius region, those deputies are :  Jarosław Narkiewicz, Michał Mackiewicz and Leonard Talmont. The representation could have been larger, if the party could manage the electoral threshold. The electoral threshold rules for parties of native minorities which is 5 percent and 7 percent for coalition In Lithuania.

In last election from 2008 EAPL missed only few parts of percent to win. It got 4,79 of percent of votes. But in the Elections for European parliament’ seats the party got 8,42 percents of votes, where the attendance was very low. In elections for self government where EAPL had the best results. it got their influences larger in Vilnius and its region..

EAPL was established as a regional party to protect the interests of Poles living in Vilnius region. That’s why the biggest success EAPL had the biggest results in election in Villnius’ region in self – governmental elections. Since years the EAPL rules in Vilnius’s region as well in Šalčininkai region. It has the strong position in the city of Vilnius and in Trakai region it a part of coalition which governs in regions of Švenčionys, Širvintos and in the city of Wisaginia.

EAPL is co-operating with local group called Russian alliance in Lithuania from 5 years. That group is working in Klaipeda and in other places of Russian minority. In upcoming elections new alliance for Poles is Lithuanian  agrarian party. Agrarian Party was established two years ago by first prime minister of independent Lithu8ania Mrs. Kazimiera Prunskiene. Because of health problems Mrs. Prunskiene left the political stage but now her son is trying to take her place Mr. Vaidotas Prunskus.

EAPL did not establish the coalition , the representatives of Russian Alliance and Lithuanian agrarian Party are starting from a list of EAPL. For the first time EAPL put the 39 candidates in more than half of first to win procedure and another time a full list of 141 candidates in plurality voting system.
­Since the beginning the EAPL had the main goal which was to solve the problems of native minorities in Lithuania. But the dialogue in that case is really hard and some issues are still present. For example, Poles do not have right to write their names and surnames with the original spelling, the Vilnius’ citizens still have big problems to get back their land taken by the communists. Also, the polish language does not have right to public existence. Because of that there are some issues with naming the streets  or cities twice. The issue of Polish education and representation of the people act is getting worse.

For the first time EAPL is starting in the election in a little bit changed character. In new programme of the party, issues of the national interests are more important and for the first time the programme of EAPL has a Lithuanian wide dim.

We invite you to listen the interview with Waldemar Tomaszewski who is the chairman of EAPL

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/video/waldemar-tomaszewski-sa-duze-szanse-ze-wygramy 

Tłumaczenie Karolina Przybyło w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Przybyło the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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