- July 11, 2012
The Central Electoral Commission’s decision unfavorable to the Poles
The Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania implemented a new adjustment of boundaries of electoral districts in the Vilnius region. The adjustment is unfavorable to the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) and for Lithuanian Poles. The changes will “weaken the strength of Polish votes”, stressed the EAPL.
Despite these changes, the EAPL is “determined to win parliamentary elections” on October 14 – emphasized the EAPL president, Lithuanian MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski, in an interview for PAP.
On Tuesday, at the meeting of the Central Electoral Commission, a new constituency in the Vilnius region was created; it separates a part of the territory of the Vilnius region and joins it to the districts of Švenčionys and Molėtų. The Commission claims that its decision is justified by the demographic changes.
“The Central Electoral Commission adopted a very unfavorable decision to the Polish minority. In one of the municipal districts of Vilnius, which (…) has been attached to the Molėtų district, Poles represent 80% of the society. After the implementation of the current changes, the Poles’ voice will be virtually inaudible, because the Molėtų region they represent only 6% of the citizens.” – said Tomaszewski.
As he indicated, the Vilnius region – the largest one in Lithuania, where 61% of citizens are Poles – could have two separate electoral districts. Meanwhile, it is now broken into five separate constituencies and connected to other regions with the majority of Lithuanians.
Tomaszewski noted that the discrimination against Poles indicates that the Kaunas region, where elections are usually won by currently co-ruling conservatives, is divided into eight districts with a minimum number of voters (about 30.000). Meanwhile, in Vilnius and its surrounding areas, all the constituencies are large and count up to 45.000 people.
“In practice, it means that in Kaunas 90% of voters, divided into three single-member constituencies, will have three representatives in Parliament; in Vilnius, 90% of voters, divided into two districts – only two representatives” – explained Tomaszewski.
The EAPL has currently three representatives in the Lithuanian Parliament and hopes to improve this result in the October elections. Electoral threshold is 5%.
Tłumaczenie Ewelina Zarembska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Ewelina Zarembska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.