• January 13, 2015
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Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania has slated nearly 400 candidates

One and a half month left to the local elections in Lithuania. On 1st of March residents will elect 60 local government councilors and mayors , who this year will be elected in Lithuania for the first time in direct elections.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (AWPL) has slated nearly 1/5 more lists of candidates, thereby expanding the geography of their participation in the elections.

“Regional Party – Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – overcame another important stages of organizational work. On 9th of January the party’s Supreme Council approved all of the list of candidates. Previously, the list has been approved by the bureau of the party’s departments.    AWPL has slated lists of candidates in 13 local governments- in the cities of Vilnius, Druskininkai, Visaginas, Klaipeda and Divisions: Salcininkai, Vilnius, Trakai, Širvintos, Švenčionys, Elektrėnai, Zarasai, Varėna and Ignalina. In the Varena and Ignalina regions AWPL has not introduced lists of candidates previously, what means that the party has increased the geography of its participation in the elections by nearly 1/5, as previously introduced 11 lists of candidates. Currently, the collection of signatures of voters supporting the collection of lists of candidates AWPL  is held, what is required under the current electoral law “- as we can read in the AWPL Press Office.

Nearly 400 candidates are being slated by AWPL: they are both candidates for councilors, as well as for the mayors of local governments.

“Overall, there are nearly 400 candidates on AWPL’s lists, and those are well-known and respected people in their environment. In 10 local governments AWPL has slated also candidates in direct elections for mayors: in the Vilnius region- Maria Rekść, Salcininkai – Zdzisław Palewicz, Švenčionys – Zbigniew Jedziński, Širvintos- Rita Tamašunienė, Trakai – Maria Pucz, Elektrėnai- Ewelina Sołowjowa, Zarasai: Siergiej Szeplakow, Visaginas – Dmitry Ikonikow, Klaipeda – Irina Rozowa and in the capital – Waldemar Tomaszewski. Irina Rozowa has been nominated by Rusų Aljansas, and the Supreme Council of AWPL endorsed the candidacy “- said Electoral Action Press Office in a statement.

According to the Press Office, the party predicts the winning of some of its candidates in the first round of the elections, and the candidate of the leader of AWPL for a mayor clearly is a concern of environments not unfavorable of AWPL and Poles.

“Candidates of AWPL for mayors in the Salcininkai and Vilnius regions, Z. Palewicz and M. Rekść after obtaining 50 per cent of endorsement have a chance to win elections in the first round, and the candidates in the Švenčionys, Trakai, Visaginas, Vilnius and Klaipeda regions have a chance to get to the second round and fight for the position of mayors. Opponents of AWPL and unfavorable forces to Poles are particularly concerned by the Waldemar Tomaszewski’s candidacy for a position of Vilnius’ mayor- the largest local government in the country and the city with the greatest potential. This concern is a clear evidence of strengthen position of AWPL, and the opponents have already come to terms with the fact the this this group is a leading force in the Vilnius region and they are afraid its extending influence in the capital. For some parties the potential winnings of AWPL in Vilnius would be the darkest scenario, against what the Conservative leader, Andrius Kubilius, warned in the media recently- this is how the pre-election atmosphere was described by the party.

In this elections AWPL has not only prepared the extensive list of candiatates, but also a large number of representatives in in the electoral commissions.

On 12th of January the process of formation of of district election commissions ended. Over 600 people have been designated by AWPL to these commissions in all 11 municipalities where such a right was relevant, which is in those municipalities, where a party has already slated lists of candidates”- informs the Press Office of the Electoral Action.

On 1st of March we will know not only AWPL candidates chosen to the local governments, but also the results of by-elections to the Sejm, to which the candidate from EAPL is Renata Cytacka.

“Moreover, on 9th of January the Supreme Council approved AWPL’s candidate in the election to Parliament in the Žirmūnai county  no 4 of Vilnius. The by-elections have been established after the resignation of Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, who in October last year become a European commissioner for Health. Renata Cytacka, Deputy Minister of Energy, chairwoman of the Forum of Parents from the Polish schools in Lithuania in Šalčininkai district,  has become a candidate of AWPL in this elections, who 2,5 years ago was a candidate in this district and was on placed on high fourth position with nearly 2000 votes”- we can read in the statement published by the Press Office of AWPL.

AWPL remains rather optimistic about the results of the upcoming election battle.

“Support for AWPL that unites all national minorities is increasing. People appreciate honest, principled position of representatives of the party, taking care of an average citizen, no abuse of power, the fact that the members of AWPL have never been involved in any scandals, including corruption – what is a good exception of the national political scene.  Therefore, there is a high possibility that good results of the local elections of 2011, when “The Block  of Waldemar Tomaszewski” won 6.2% of the vote in the country and 62 seats in the 7 municipalities, can be repeated, or it can be even better. The first results of the organizational work the last few months – nomination of 400 candidates in the elections, 600 members of election commissions, the formation of alliances with other national minorities and slating nearly 1/5 more lists of candidates – it is a good sign for the party in the difficult struggle of elections “- predicts the group.

Translated by Alicja Kępińska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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