|Anual Conference of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL)|
Not Let Down the Voters
Nearly 300 people - Members of the Seimas, mayors, governors and administrative workers of the municipalities, councillors, starosts, presidents and vice-presidents of the EAPL circle - took part in the anual conference of the EAPL. The conference took place in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius last Friday. Regional branches' presidents submitted reports on the EAPL program assumptions implementation in their areais.
The conference was begun by the Member of the European Parliament and the president of the EAPL, Valdemar Tomaševski. Firstly the president stressed that several thousand people worked on the success of the party during the election campaign, and later, several hundred people kept watching that the program assumptions are implemented into life. The leader of the Polish community admitted that last year was hard but the results are gratifying.
Hard, but Right Decision
Last year Vilnius' inhabitants were summoned to ballot-boxes even three times. For the first time in the history of the reborn independence of Lithuania a Pole took part in the presidential elections. Tomaševski stressed, that this decision was hard, but right. He was happy, that Vilnius district proved everybody that it can mobilize itself and gained most signatures for the support of EAPL candidate. The results of the presidential campaign were good as well, but a firm victory in Vilnius and Šalčininkai regions as well as the second place in Vilnius only confirm the success of the EAPL. More than 65 thousand electors voted for the candidate of the party. This is the biggest number in the EAPL history.
The EAPL did good as well during the elections to the European Parliament. More than 46 thousand votes (8,42 percent of all general votes) were gained. It was a very good result. Poles gained one mandate and now they have their own representative in the European Parliament.
The good luck was continued during the supplementary parliamentary elections when EAPL candidate Leonard Talmont simply crushed his competitors and succeeded.
We did not Miss the Chosen Way
Last year was full of important jubilees - celebration of the 15th anniversary of the EAPL, 77th anniversary of the prelate Juzef Obremski, who is a honourable citizen of the Vilnius region and its patron, ordination as a priest. The 20th anniversary of the Association of Poles in Lithuania (APL) was solemnly celebrated as well. The president of the APL, deputy Michal Mackevič, who took part in the conference proceedings, was the main organisator of the jubilee ceremonies.
'Our triumphs were inconvenient for somebody thus we had to counter the attacks of the Central Electoral Commision repeatedly, respond to complaints directed to the Prosecution and to the Financial Crime Investigation Centre twice,' Tomaševski listed. Morover, Tomaševski added that personally he was frequently attacked by the Chief Ethics Commission and deputy Gintaras Songaila. 'Despite these evident efforts of intimidation we did not miss the chosen way and still decisively head towards our aims, ' leader of the Polish community stated with convinction.
Tomaševski noticed, that the party gains more and more sympathizers and followers not only among Poles or the representatives of national minorities, but Lithuanians as well, who appreciate honest and selfless activity of the EAPL. In Tomaševski's opinion, the most important events of the past year was the Enthronization Act of the Christ the King by local governments' councils of Vilnius and Šalčininkai districts. 'It was a good tone for other districts not only of the country, but of other countries as well. We owe our successes to the Divine Providence, there is no other explanation,' Tomaševski summarized. The EAPL President stressed the personal contribution and involvement of the mayors Marija Rekst and Zdzislav Palevič in taking these historic decisions.
Investment Success of the Goverment
The Mayor Marija Rekst was happy, that the administration of the region managed to gain quite a few EU funds during the three years of term of office. This allowed to build new wastewater treatment devices, water supply systems, and improve the quality of potable water for the residents of Sudervė and Maišiagala. More than 20 applications were lodged for the overall amount of over 50 million litas this year. What is more, new boiler was built in Avižieniai and one in Nemėžys was reconstruted.
It as an incredible success that the government using his own sources is building kindergatens, hospitals, nursing homes. Any other government cannot be proud of such achievements. The Mayor announced with pride that the new kindergarten in Rudamina was built, the works concerning the kindergarten transfer to usage in Nemenčinė and the building of the kindergarten in Mickūnai were started. In total, 15 million litas were spent for the pre-school education institutions. For comparison, only one kindergarten was built in
The contribution of the
Marija Rekst said that the EAPL representatives in the government of the
Slogans do not Win Elections
'We continue to implement assumptions of our program, which was formulated in 2003. We constantly complement the program as we know that slogans are not enough to win the elections', deputy Leonard Talmont, the chairman of the EAPL Šalčininkai region branch, said. The former Mayor boasted that Šalčininkai region was awarded by the Ministry of Finance as the most rapidly economically developing region. It also reveiced a diploma from the European Commission for developing links with Member States of the European Union. 'Our children went for holidays not only to Poland but to Germany and France as well. The government allocated over 7 million litas for the renovation of schools and kindergartens,' Talmont continued. He also said, that each year a library is being built or renovated, 80 countrysides were lightened anew (old wires and lanterns were replaced with the new ones), wastewater treatment devices were established in Šalčininkai (10 million litas) and Eišiškės (4 million litas).
Henrik Jankovski, the chairman of the EAPL Trakai region branch was glad because of the first victory in the parliamentary elections. In the Vilnius-Trakai constituency Jaroslav Narkevič gained the deputy mandate. After a short break, EAPL Councillors belong to the ruling coalition of the Trakai region government again. Moreover, Mr Jankovski was happy because finally Trakai gained the status of the recreation city. Owing to the procedures of Councillors the quality of potable water was improved in Lentvaris, some of the trakai lakes were cleansed, a new road from Trakai to Senieji Trakai was built.
Objectively and Concretely
Objective and concrete report on activities of the EAPL Vilnius branch was submitted by its chairwoman Vanda Kravčionok. After the municipality elections of 2007, EAPL Councillors were in a ruling coalition. 'The negotiations were hard but thanks to the personal involvement of the President Valdemar Tomaševski we managed to set a coalition on good terms and negotiate two basic positions of vice-mayor and vice-director of the administration, to fill the department positions with own people (more than 25) and to take up a very important post of the vice-director of Education, Culture, and Sports department,' Kravčionok said.
Owing to the procedures of EAPL the sale of state land and additional land buying to already formed parcels have been stopped; in more than 30 Vilnius coutrysides parcels were reconsidered anew and formed to return. The process of retail planning of free areas between Naujoji Vilnia and Nemežis was started. It is kind of a recompensation for Vilnius inhabitants for lost patrimony. The protection of health centres in Naujoji Vilnia and Karoliniškės from concession was the success of EAPL Councillors. Thanks to the EAPL authorities, an ambulance station which is very important for the residents of Vilnius and its regions, was rescued from bankruptcy. The director position of the station was filled by the EAPL candidate and today the station is operating profitably. The EAPL Vilnius branch chairwoman frankly admitted, that they did not manage to build a school-preschool in Jeruzalė and Perkūnkiemis (Vilnius), where polish groups could be formed.
Two posts for the Polish Theatre Studio in Naujoji Vilnia and Grigiškės were gained, but there was no success in gaining posts for 'Wilia' and the headmasters of Polish Theatre in Vilnius. When EAPL faction belonged to the ruling coalition an obligation stating that each year there should be 1000 parcels ready for building was adopted. Nowadays authorities do not bind themselves to the obligation.
Zbigniev Jedinski, the EAPL Švenčionys region branch chairman, in turn, deplored that with all authorities being present one has to grapple with the problem of underfunding. Local authorities are more sympathetic towards Švenčionys and Naujieji Švenčionys, while Pabradė, where Poles constitute the majority of all the inhabitants, is treated as a second-rate. Jedinski said, that the EAPL Councillors in the Government Council of the Šalčininkai region belong to the opposition, but nevertheless, the tax relieves for micro entrepreneurs were negotiated, posts in county offices of Magūnai and Pabradė were filled by the people of EAPL. Jedinski noticed, that the activity of the branch is oriented to commemoration of the places associated with remarkable Poles as well as keeping a number of Polish educational institutions in the region. 'We have a hard position in the latter issue and fight sharply,' the EAPL Švenčionys region branch chairman said.
Particularly Important Year
At the end of the conference Mr Tomaševki one more time stressed the particular importance of last year of the term of office. 'We are responsible for meeting the expectations and trust of our electors. We have to make any efforts in order not to undermine one of the basic slogans of our party, i.e. 'We do not make promises without fullfiling them, ' the president of the EAPL said.