• August 26, 2015
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Family ties in EAPL: Rekść’s son is the Head of L24.lt

Nepotism among Lithuanian politicians is not a new phenomenon. It also occurs among Polish politicians in Lithuania. Often MPs appoint their assistants on the grounds of family ties and private relationships.

Not so long ago, the newspaper “Lietuvos rytas” wrote about nepotism in the Lithuania Seimas. One of the persons mentioned in the article is Wiktor Jusiel who is the head of the portal L24.lt now. He is Józef Kwiatkowski’s assistant. Kwiatkowski belongs to EAPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, EAPL). Another exmaple can be Wiktor Jusiel whose mother is an assistant to Jarosław Narkiewicz who is the Deputy Head of the Seimas.

Tomaszewski’s Banquet

But that is not the only political party connection in L24.lt office. MPs and councillors from EAPL are often publicist there.

The portal L24.lt was established on 7 April 2013. Waldemar Tomaszewski, the President of EAPL, and Michał Mackiewicz, the President of the Association of Poles in Lithuania were present throughout the presentation of the website. During the event, it was said that L24.lt was created by young people and that its aim was an “opeative spread of information”. Important is the fact that Tomaszewski said that the portal was independent and that journalists which worked there worked for free as volunteers. The leader of AWPL added that he had co-financed the banquet as a way of supporting initiative taken up by young people.

Who is Rekść’s son?

It is true that the publisher of l24.lt is the public benefit purpose foundation L24Plius. Its Head is Władysław Michalkiewicz who is also a member of the editorial board. At the same time, Michalkiewicz is the son of Maria Rekść who is the Mayor of the Vilnius District Municipality (lit. Vilniaus rajono savivaldybė).

The most important members of the editorial team are: Elżbieta Sadaiska – a EAPL councillor of the local government of Vilnius District Municipality, Teresa Worobiej – an assistant to the AWPL MP Wanda Krawczonok, Zdzisław Palewicz, jr – a local assistant to Waldemar Tomaszewski, who is the Member of the European Parliament, and the son of Zdzisław Palewicz who is the Mayor of Šalčininkai District Municipality (Šalčininkų rajonas), Beata Naniewicz – a local assistant to Tomaszewski, Paweł Kobak –an employee of Vilnius local government.

”Sons of the Lithuanian province”

It is worth pointing out that Tadeusz Andrzejewski, Renata Cytacka and Rita Tamašunienė work for the portal as publicists on a daily basis. He is a councillor of the Vilnius District Municipality and an assistant to MP Michał Mackiewicz, Cytacka is a councillor of Vilnius and a local assistant to Tomaszewski, the Member of the European Parliament and Tamašunienė is an MP.

“In order to exchange information, achieve mutual understanding and general good we will collaborate with Lithuanian multilingual and multicultural communities and environments”, wrote Wiktor Jusiel the Head of the portal two years ago. Later, he called his opponents “little stray dogs and toadstools”. Moreover, Tadeusz Andrzejewski accused the current coalition in Vilnius of having bad manners and lacking personal culture as if they they had been raised in the village. He also called the members of the Council the sons of the Lithuanian province.

The situation in which the media is so greatly influenced by politics may be seen as breaching of journalism ethics. In the Journalism Code of Ethics it is stated that “A journalist should give true and reliable information. He also should present various points of view on a situation”.

Dynasties of political parties

Strong ties between relatives is not a new phenomenon in Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania. The good example of that is Tamašunas family from Jawniuny. In the the last local government elections there were 4 candidates belonging to that family out of 24 in Širvintos District Municipality (lit. Širvintų rajono savivaldybė).

Rita Tamašunienė is a head of EAPL faction in the Seimas who deals with administrative issues and her husband is a local assistant to Waldemar Tomaszewski. Moreover, Jarosław’s sister, Edyta Tamošiūnaitė was the Deputy Ministry of Education and currently is a councillor of Vilnius and an assistant to the MP Józef Kwiatkowski.

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

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