Polish and Russian minorities to stand together in general election
PR dla Zagranicy
The Electoral Action of Poles (AWPL) in Lithuania will be contesting October's general election in the Baltic state on a joint-ticket with the Russian Alliance and Lithuanian People's Party.
AWPL's election web site
AWPL's only member of the European Parliament (MEP) Waldemar Tomaszewski has told the local Radio Znad Wilii that the two other parties, representing the Russian minority and rural voters, initiated the election bloc.
Under Lithuanian rules, individual parties must get five percent of the vote in general elections before they can take seats in parliament, while parties standing in ballots as a bloc must receive seven percent.
In the 2008 elections, the Polish minority party – which sits with right wing conservatives in the European Parliament, won three seats in the 141-seat lower house (Seimas).
MEP Tomaszewski said that the bloc "had already agreed to a list of 130 candidates" for the elections on 14 October and will be standing mainly on economic policy and not necessarily minority issues, such as the status of Polish language teaching in schools. (pg)