aA
The May 3 Group set up at the Lithuanian parliament to address national minority policy issues proposes to consider lowering the Seimas election threshold for national minority parties.
Lithuanian Poles
Lithuanian Poles
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Conservative MP Andrius Kubilius, the initiator of the group, says that a lower threshold would contribute to the emergence of an alternative to the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA), which is currently the dominant national minority party, and could reduce the Kremlin's influence on the political attitudes of national minorities in Lithuania.

"We propose to start discussions about this. By lowering that barrier, we make it possible for more liberal or more pro-European Polish organizations to compete with (EAPL-CFA leader Valdemar) Tomaševski for the votes of ethnic Poles in Lithuania," he told BNS.

On behalf of the May 3 Group, Kubilius has asked Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, to include amendments aimed at lowering the election threshold and a proposal to "solve, in a European way, the problem of spelling the letters w, q and x in forenames and surnames" into the agenda of the parliament's spring session.

The conservative lawmaker said that certain amendments on the name-spelling issue had earlier been registered in the Seimas, adding that amendments on a lower election threshold were being drafted.

He said that certain safeguards, such a 2 percent threshold, could be put in place to prevent pro-Russian organizations from being elected to the Seimas.

Tomasevski, a member of the European Parliament, said that the proposal to lower the barrier was belated.

„"They woke up at last. We have been proposing this for 21 years. There was no threshold for national minority organizations back in 1992, and based on that law, in 1992, in the first completely free elections, the Union of Poles won 2 percent of votes and was allocated two seats by proportional representation," the EAPL-CFA chairman told BNS.

"That was normal practice. This is common practice throughout Europe, but it was scrapped (in Lithuania) in 1996," he said.

In its report on the 2012 parliamentary elections in Lithuania, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recommended introducing a lower threshold for national minority parties, but this recommendation was never implemented.

The EAPL-CFA received 5.48 percent of the national vote in last October's general elections.

|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

Grand Courtyard of the Seimas opens to the public (1)

From Monday, 13 July 2020, the Grand Courtyard of the Seimas will be opened to the public....

Vilnius centre becomes art gallery

Lithuanian capital Vilnius has turned its centre into an open-air art gallery . The outdoor...

Lithuania faces new educational trends in post-pandemic reality

Scientists predict the second wave of coronavirus, and this uncertainty encourages high school...

Summer discoveries: exhibitions in Kaunas

After a couple of months with the doors closed, museums and galleries are eager to attract visitors.

Online from Kaunas: Lithuanian language and culture summer school

Baltic Summer University organisers have decided to use this time to explore the opportunities to...

Top news

Rzeczpospolita editor: Polish president sees Nauseda as his personal ally

Polish President Andrzej Duda regards Lithuania as a strategic partner and considers President...

Interior minister sees no need for tighter controls on returnees

Interior Minister Rita Tamasuniene currently sees no need for tightening controls on people returning...

Zalgiris Kaunas names Austria's Schiller as head coach

Zalgiris Kaunas has named Martin Schiller , a 38-year-old Austrian specialist, as its head coach,...

Minister: facemasks to become mandatory again if coronavirus cases spike

The Lithuanian government would consider making facemasks mandatory in public again if coronavirus...

Only 1 new coronavirus case

On Monday, only 1 new COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Lithuania. In total, Lithuania has already...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina