News2020.01.16 17:30

Poland wants election threshold in Lithuania lowered to favour minorities

BNS 2020.01.16 17:30

Poland hopes Lithuania will reconsider lower election threshold, which would allow the Polish-minority party to cease cooperation with Russian parties.

"We hope this issue will be raised once again in the future," Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters on Thursday. "[The Lithuanian foreign] minister assured me it has nothing to do with minorities but with internal democratic procedures in Lithuania."

The Lithuanian parliament failed on Tuesday to reject the president's veto and lower the election threshold. The 5-percent barrier remains in place for the 2020 general election.

Read more: Lower election threshold in Lithuania – more democracy or more chaos?

Polish authorities believes a lower threshold would allow the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance to stop pandering to Russian voters and cease the controversial cooperation with Lithuania's Russian parties.

The issue was on Thursday discussed in Vilnius by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and his visiting Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowcz. The latter said his country has been following the ongoing discussions over the past several months.

The Polish minister also expressed hope the threshold issue would reemerge on Lithuania's political agenda.

Now in Lithuania, political parties need to receive at least 5 percent of votes in the multi-member constituency to get in the Seimas, and party coalitions need to get at least 7 percent.

LRT has been certified according to the Journalism Trust Initiative Programme