- January 23, 2015
Rita Tamašunienė: Minority groups are not treated leniently in Lithuania
The members of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania stated that the recommendations of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) concerning the possibility of using information not only in the Lithuanian language, but also in the languages of minorities are not executed.
The starost of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania in the Lithuanian parliament Rita Tamašunienė said during the press conference that after the elections in 2012, OSCE drew its attention to some aspects concerning the minority groups in Lithuania.
“Minority groups are not treated leniently in Lithuania (editor’s note: during the elections). They participate in the elections according to the same principles as the main political parties, which have thousands of members and units in the entire Lithuania” – pointed out Rita Tamašunienė.
The official report of OSCE states that in order to ensure better representation of minorities in legislation, the electoral threshold might be set at the lower level for minority parties, the borders of electoral districts can be changed after consultations with members of minority groups, and publishing information concerning the elections (especially in towns thickly populated by minorities) could help to avoid misunderstandings caused by the language barrier.
“I don’t think that it is the document that can be forgotten and labeled” – added the starost of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.
Tamašunienė reminded that the languages of minorities could be used only during the referendum on the issue of Lithuania’s accession to the European Union.
Translated by Tomasz Szatkowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.