- July 11, 2012
Unfavorable to the Poles changes in constituencies approved
The Central Electoral Commission in Lithuania approved a new division of constituencies. Lithuanian Poles are concerned that changes in some constituencies will significantly break the Polish electorate in this country.
The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) believes that changes of the boundaries of the constituencies in Vilnius region, as introduced by the Commission, are unfavorable to the EAPL and to the Lithuanian Poles.
At the meeting of the Central Electoral Commission, a new constituency in the Vilnius region was created, separating a part of the territory of the Vilnius region and joining 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 in the Molėtų region they represent only 6% of the citizens.” – said Waldemar Tomaszewski, the leader of the EAPL.
As he emphasized, the Vilnius region – the largest one in Lithuania, where Poles represent 61% of citizens – could have two separate electoral districts. Meanwhile, it is now broken into five separate constituencies connected to other regions with the majority of Lithuanians.
The leader of the EAPL emphasizes that if the constituencies were divided according to European standards, the Poles would constitute a majority in four districts.
The CEC also granted financial funds to the party. The EAPL will be able to dispose of nearly 670 thousand litas. The largest grant, of 2.6 million litas, was given to the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats, a party which constitutes the majority in Lithuanian Parliament. Overall, about 10 million litas has been allocated to the pre-election campaign from taxpayers’ money.
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 the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.