- October 16, 2012
AWPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania) is going to compete with the Labour Party, the conservatives and the liberals in the second round of parliamentary election.
“At least three AWPL’s candidates will win the first round in the single-member legislative districts”, told PL DELFI the leader of Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania on Sunday (October 14). So far, Leonard Talmont is the only AWPL’s candidate who has won in the first round. There were 64% of those who voted for him in the Vilnius-Šalčininkai constituency.
Six AWPL’s candidates got to the second round in which they will compete mostly with the candidates of the Labour Party. For instance, an MP Jarosław Narkiewicz will compete with Rita Tamašunienė from Živilė Pinskuvienė. Another MP from AWPL Tadeusz Andrzejewski, a councillor of the self-government in the Vilnius Region, will compete with Sergej Ursul; Zofia Matarewicz – a headmaster of a nursery school “Wilia” – with a conservative Paulius Saudargas in Justiniškės and Zbigniew Maciejewski – a headmaster of the secondary school in Nemėžis – with a conservative Audronius Ažubalis in Šeškinė. Zdzwisław Palewicz ,the current mayor of the Šalčininkai region, will compete with Algis Kašėta, a member of the Liberal Movement, in the Eišiškės-Varėna district.
A fight over Trakai
An MP Jarosław Narkiewicz, who won in the Vilnius-Trakai single-member legislative district in 2008, has got just 39.79% in the first round this year. He also believes that this situation results from the fragmentation of the Polish electorate. “The votes are fragmented. Popławski got 8%, Tarasiewicz – 2%, which equals 10%. I got about 40% of the votes. Well, they wanted to try. They have had some fun. But I doubt we needed all that”, told PL DELFI Jarosław Narkiewicz. However, he is optimistic about his chances in the second round. “I know that my voters have confidence in me. I cannot let them down. Although the Labour Party is a very strong opponent, it will not be easy to win”, emphasized Jarosław Narkiewicz.
Stanisław Tarasiewicz, a candidate from the Association YES, does not want to give up politics, although he got just 1.95% of votes. He claims that the results from a single-member legislative district usually agree with a party list results from a multiple-winner constituency. “My result is not disappointing for me. It clearly shows that there is a lot of work ahead of my team. So we are going to start working on the next self-government elections. We aim to convince voters that the good changes we would like to introduce are also dependent on whom they choose. Voters’ decision should not be influenced by any local authorities. We are thankful for all the support we receive but we also thank those who did not vote for us and we say: ‘Till the next elections’”, told PL DELFI Stanisław Tarasiewicz.
Another Polish woman Ałła Dekan from the Liberal Movement, who was a candidate in the Vilnius-Trakai constituency, is also happy with the results she has got. “I am glad because I got more votes than another candidate from our party last year. It means that we have developed”, told PL DELFI Dekan. She was on 8th position (out of 11) with 3.27% of votes. She also believes that Narkiewicz has not won in the first round because people expect changes. “It is difficult for me to comment on the result, just because I do not know what people think. The only thing I know is that people are a bit disappointed with him and they expect some changes to be done”, said Ałła Dekan.
Naujoji Vilnia – a hard nut to crack?
Naujoji Vilnia is the only district in Vilnius where national minorities constitute over 60% of the inhabitants. However, AWPL has never managed to get a parliamentary seat there. They have always lost to the candidates from nationwide parties. The situation was the same during the Sunday’s election. Tadeusz Andrzejewski, an AWPL’s candidate, got the first place (with about 20% of votes) but he did not get enough votes to win in the first round. In the second round he will compete with a candidate from the Labour Party – Sergej Ursul.
Andrzejewski claims that the result was influenced by the change of the boundaries of constituencies. “Each constituency is diverse. The population in individual districts is diverse. The results differ from one constituency to another. For instance, in the Dvarčany village the Lithuanians are the majority so the results will be completely different from the ones in a village where national minorities constitute the majority. Before the change of the boundaries, the Dvarčany village had belonged to Antokole. So we are dealing now with an artificial division and fragmentation of the Polish electorate”, explained Andrzejewski.
However, he is optimistic about the second round. “Everyone who takes part in the elections wants to win. We will compete for the victory”, emphasized the candidate.
Vodka, cakes and money
In the Vilnius-Širvintos constituency Rita Tamašunienė, an AWPL’s candidate, will compete with Živilė Pinskuvienė, from the Labour Party. Tamašunienė got 31.5% of votes in the first round. “Any of the candidates has ever won in the first round in this constituency. There are many candidates every year. And this year there are fourteen of them, so there will be quite a division among voters”, told PL DELFI Tamašunienė. She hopes that people will trust her, although the Labour Party lead a very unethical campaign. “The majority behaved normally. They met with voters and gave them little calendars or other things allowed by the law. But some of the candidates gave people umbrellas, cakes or even money. People are not that stupid, they will not give their vote for a present”, said Rita Tamašunienė.
In the single-member legislative districts AWPL won in the first round only in the Vilnius- Šalčininkai constituency. Leonard Talmont has got almost 65% of votes. Ryszard Maciejkianiec, from Path of Courage Party, competed in the same constituency, for a place in the parliament. The ex-president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania has got 553 votes (2.23%).
Tłumaczenie Marta Dubiel w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Marta Dubiel the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.