• July 25, 2018
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Duchniewicz: EAPL–CFA the cause of the crisis of the Association of Poles in Lithuania

Two months have passed and Michal Mackevič is still tarnishing the image of Poles in Lithuania. The president of the main organization representing the Polish minority denies the suspicion of committing a crime against the Foundation Aid to Poles in the East (Fundacja “Pomoc Polakom na Wschodzie”) and the State Treasury of Poland.

What we had to expect to happen happened. The chairperson of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance Political Group – Rita Tamašunienė together with other politicians from EAPL–CFA and Valdemar Tomaševski – the leader of the party – started to defend Michal Mackevič.

It is worth recalling that Valdemar Tomaševski is the president of the biggest branch of the Association of Poles in Lithuania – the Vilnius District Municipality, and his deputy is Marija Rekst – Vilnius District Municipality Mayor. There is a similar situation also in other branches. For example the president of Šalčininkai District Department is the mayor of the self-government – Zdzislav Palevič, in Trakai – a member of Seimas – Jaroslav Narkevič. It means that EAPL–CFA has a dominant power in the largest Polish non-governmental organisation.

Michal Mackevič is not even planning on appearing on a formal summons from Poland. In his opinion Poland should refer the matter to Lithuanian services. This is very admirable how fast Mackevič’s rhetoric has changed. He was “fighting” for Polishness in Lithuania for so many years, he was among those politics who were trying to find a negative side of Polish minority, they were always pointing out any conflicts, and now, trying to get votes, he claims to be a citizen of Lithuania and he has nothing to do with Poland. It looks a little silly. Mackevič is just afraid that he will be detained in Poland. This is what the president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania is trying to avoid.

This is a pitty that Michal Mackevič and those who support him are still tarnishing the image of Polish minority. A negative reaction we can see not only among the citizens of Lithuania, but also in Poland. Mackevič’s reluctance to solve the problem causes even deeper crisis. If the president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania has not committed any crime, then why he is acting like this? Dead silence and passivity of EAPL–CFA politicians may show that there may be a lot more activists like Mackevič.

The Association of Poles in Lithuania, so as most of the organization’s branches rule the politicians on behalf of EAPL–CFA, and this is why I would call the Action the cause of the organization’s crisis.

Robert Duchniewicz is a councillor of Vilnius District Municipality and the chairman of the branch of the Vilnius Region of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania.

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

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