“There are around 260,000 citizens of Lithuania residing abroad, which accounts for about 9 percent of all citizens. Yet, so far they have been inactively involved in Lithuania’s political affairs. Experience of other countries shows that it is essential to strengthen the relations of emigrants and parliament, while one of the most efficient ways to do it is to establish a constituency for citizens living abroad so that a representative of foreign Lithuanians can be elected to the Seimas. This is the case in Croatia, where 3 MPs out of 140 come from such constituencies, or in Portugal with 4 MPs out of 230. Lithuania could elect one representative, too,” the MP says.
Under the existing laws, Lithuanians residing abroad are put on the electoral roll of the Naujamiestis constituency in Vilnius. According to MP Masiulis, this is the reason why the number of voters in this constituency is always significantly bigger than anywhere else in the country.
Over 13,000 Lithuanians residing outside the country voted in Lithuania’s general elections in 2012.