- April 11, 2014
About spelling of surnames, Polish Charter and ruling coalition during a press conference of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
Representatives of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania believe that writing a non-Lithuanian surname in original form on additional page of a passport will not solve the problem. During the press conference in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania a leader of the EAPL, Waldemar Tomaszewski, said it was a current issue not only for national minorities but for all of the country’s citizens.
“These are the standards, such a law is in force in all of the EU Member States and I believe we will also have such a law over time. Of course, there are attempts to take another direction in a discussion on this issue: maybe the last page, maybe in other documents; but it is really flippant” – Waldemar Tomaszewski said commenting on the alternative draft law on the spelling of non-Lithuanian surnames that has been submitted to the Lithuanian Seimas by a group of deputies.
A leader of the EAPL parliamentary group in the Lithuanian Seimas, Rita Tamašunienė, added that approving a proposal of spelling non-Lithuanian surnames on the additional page of a passport would require additional costs and would not solve the problem in situations in which giving a surname is required in other documents, agreements, wills etc.
During the press conference Waldemar Tomaszewski referred to the statement of the Minister of Justice, a social democrat Juozas Bernatonis who indicated that holding a Polish Charter is an obligation to another country and a presidential candidate cannot have such obligations. The EAPL leader, Waldemar Tomaszewski, who holds a Polish Charter said that “Bernatonis expressed his opinion as a lawyer and there are thousands of lawyers in Lithuania”. W. Tomaszewski emphasized that during a presidential election the candidates should compete “on ideas and not pointing out the candidate’s nationality”. Juozas Bernatonis is a leader of the election committee of the social democrats’ candidate Zigmantas Balčytis.
When asked about whether the EAPL will stay in the ruling coalition after presidential election Waldemar Tomaszewski said that the EAPL “is not afraid of work in opposition” and did not strive for power “at any price”. He added that the EAPL would move to the opposition if after election a coalition of conservatives and social democrats is formed.
Tłumaczenie by Martyna Kołtun w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Martyna Kołtun within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.