- February 4, 2013
New possible changes in the Trocki region
Due to the changes to the coalition in the Trocki Regional Council, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania became the opposition and lost seats in the Trocki Region Administration. Representatives of the polish party announce that they do not intend to easily resign from co-administrating the region.
Last Thursday in the Trocki Regional Council underwent changes regarding the top level authorities. Due to the interpellation of the opposition parties, the following people have lost their positions: Mayor Vincas Kapočius (from the Central and Liberal Union), vice Mayor Teresa Sołowjowa and vice director of administration of the Trocki Irena Narkiewicz (both of the latter from the EAPL)
The creation of the new coalition was initiated by social democrats who before the incident were members of the coalition in power together with EAPL and the Central and Liberal Union. The new opposition is composed of the social democrats, Labour Party, New Union (social liberals), the Christian Party and the Conservatives. The new majority has now got altogether 14 seats and the social Vytautas Zalieckas is the new Mayor. Wojciech Winskiewicz has been appointed to be the new vice Mayor.
The president of the Trocki region’s EAPL branch and a member of the Trocki Regional Council, Maria Pucz, said in her interview with Wilnoteka, that leaving the coalition in power and the loss of key seats in the Council Administration are both painful. According to her however it is not worthwhile to yet comment the fact of losing power by EAPL as everything might change very quickly.
“Those parties who obtained the biggest support of the electorate during the elections to the Council cannot have their power taken away” – says M. Pucz.
In 2011 during the Council elections, EAPL in the Trocki region obtained 3163 votes and won 5 seats, falling behind the Liberal and Central Union by a mere 12 votes. The latter however due to those additional couple of votes won 6 seats. It is the Liberal and Central Union with whom EAPL is now in opposition.
EAPL’s councillor Maria Pucz does consider the possibility of an interpellation being soon announced regarding the new Mayor and she anticipates that new changes to the coalition may take place. For now, lobbyism takes place. “We’ve only been in the opposition for two days as per now and we can’t yet feel the effect of it. We do however have a good team and we think that we can make changes ourselves” M. Pucz forecasts.
The tense situation in the Trocki Regional Council may be partly due to the recent high-profile corruption scandal, which is now under investigation of the Lithuanian court. The scandal is in regards to three former clerks and current councillors of the Trocki Regional Council. The former Mayor (in office 2004-2007 and 2007-2008) has been charged with corruption and large scale bribery, and together with him face charges current social democrat and councillor Vytautas Petkevičius and a current councillor and a former director of administration (in office until 2007) Leonardas Karnila. The last person facing charges is the forder liberal councillor Saulius Raščiauskas. If convicted, they may be sentenced to up to eight years of imprisonment.
Tłumaczenie Kamil Szwarc w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Kamil Szwarc the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.