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OSCE and EAPL-CFA representatives on ballot-rigging

Last Monday, on 19th October, Representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) met with the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA) in the Seimas of Lithuania. The meeting was organized in connection with flagrant violations of the electoral law during the parliamentary elections currently taking place in Lithuania. The facts about the rigging of elections were widely echoed and received a reaction also in European countries and international organizations.

The meeting was attended by Valdemar Tomaševski, chairman of EAPL-CFA, Rita Tamašunienė from the Seimas faction of EAPL-CFA, Renata Cytacka, candidate of EAPL-CFA in a single member Panerių- Grigiškių constituency and Valdemar Urban from the Lithuanian Central Electoral Commission (CEC).

OSCE was represented by Stefan Szwed, Elissavet Karagiannidou, Iuliia Krivonosova and Aistė Grigaitė. The meeting was organized on the initiative of OSCE.

EAPL-CFA turned to CEC on 14th October with a request to invalidate the multi-member elections due to gross violations of the electoral law.

Three weeks before the parliamentary elections, EAPL-CFA filed a complaint to CEC and several other institutions regarding the extensive campaign of the Lithuanian journalist Andrius Tapinas, who called for an action against EAPL-CFA. Among others, the action consisted of publishing an advertising clip, delivering a specially published newspaper to the mailboxes of residents (300,000 copies) or creating a special slanderous profile on social media. This way he discouraged people from voting for the Polish party in an organized manner so that it would not get to the Seimas.

Yesterday Renata Cytacka announced even more facts of gross violations of the election law. She said during a press conference in the Seimas, that she had monitored the 13-hour process of counting votes of Panerių- Grigiškių district at CEC last Sunday, 18th October. ‘It was a tough task. We even counted the votes twice. I would have never believed that such things could happen and on such a scale, ‘ she said.

‘We, the party, made a decision to request a count of the votes cast for me and I was very surprised to see that my votes just disappeared, ‘ stated Cytacka. ‘Yesterday a number of violations emerged, and most of them were noticed in Trakų Vokė, ‘ said the politician.

The EAPL-CFA candidate emphasized that the number of votes cast did not coincide with the announced election results in almost all districts. The politician regretted that the Panerių- Grigiškių district was distinguished by a large number of invalid ballots, she also added that she could not understand the fact  that, depending on the line in the table, the number of voters who voted in a given district differs.

‘Our party was so close to crossing the electoral threshold. Meanwhile, the fact that in my district the seal of the electoral commission was missing on as much as 13 percent of ballot papers and assuming that similar violations took place in every district in Lithuania, the conclusion is obvious,’ claimed Cytacka.

According to Jaroslav Narkevič, these and several other violations may indicate their systemic nature, which means that they could have been previously planned, organized and implemented. ‘All this should be investigated and all doubts removed. We will strive to have the votes counted again in all districts and constituencies,’ he said.

‘Bearing in mind a number of violations, the election results should be canceled and new elections organized, ‘ suggested Cytacka.