- January 21, 2015
Ban on the usage of “Tomaszewski” surname
Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania) complains about the obstacles preceding the local government elections.
One of the obstacles concerns the ban on the usage of name used by AWPL and the Russian Alliance in the upcoming elections.
The coalition registered over 500 candidates for the local government elections; however, it is not possible to register the unified name “Koalicja AWPL i Aliansu Rosjan. Blok Waldemara Tomaszewskiego” (“The Coalition of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and the Russian Alliance. Tomaszewski’s Bloc”) everywhere.
“It turns out that in Lithuania a political coalition cannot choose the desired name” – said Rita Tamašunienė, the starost of AWPL in the Lithuanian parliament, on a press conference. She claims that they cannot register the list of candidates containing the name of AWPL’s leader in some electoral districts.
Tamašunienė adds that the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania lingers with investigating AWPL’s complain on the matter.
Tamašunienė informed that full name was successfully registered only in the electoral districts of the Vilnius region and the Šalčininkai District. The party considers the possibility of seeking justice in the court of law.
AWPL’s starost claims that the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania got involved in the political rivalry. However, she did not indicate the parties responsible for blocking AWPL.
Waldemar Urban (AWPL’s member of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania) informed that three possibilities are taken into consideration: agreeing for the usage of Tomaszewski’s surname everywhere, only in Vilius where Tomaszewski runs for the election, or completely ban the usage of his surname in every district
Vaigauskas: There is no problem with Vilnius
The chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania, Zenonas Vaigauskas, told DELFI that local electoral commissions are responsible for the decisions concerning the names of tickets. Regulations limit the possibility of using the name of a particular politician outside the district he or she stands for.
“Districts register, districts decide. The statute states: The candidate is not on the list, the name cannot contain his or her surname” – explained Vaigauskas.
According to him, AWPL is allowed to use the Tomaszewski’s surname in Vilnius where he runs for.
The Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania will announce its final decision on Friday.
Translated by Damian Gabryś within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.