The presidential election held in the Republic of Lithuania on May 12 and 26, the referendum on the preservation of citizenship, and the election of Lithuanian representatives to the European Parliament led to a recorded high number of Lithuanian citizens living abroad participating. the Lithuanian World Community (LWC) wrote in a press release.
More than three times more voters came to the ballot boxes in Lithuanian diplomatic missions compared to 2016 Seimas’ elections. Responding to the unprecedented breakthrough of diasporic civic engagement, and the initiative of Foreign Minister L. Linkevičius and other members of the Lithuanian Parliament to discuss the establishment of at least two separate constituencies for citizens of the Republic of Lithuania living abroad.
The Lithuanian World Community declares its full support for this initiative, which would foster closer and more active involvement of the Lithuanian Diaspora in creating a success story for the benefit of our common Homeland.
The LWC Board also regretted that it was not possible to secure voting rights for all citizens of the Republic of Lithuania living abroad. Hundreds of voters did not receive ballot papers in due time and therefore lost the opportunity to use their constitutional right to express civic will for reasons beyond their control: peculiarities of postal services in individual countries, idiosyncrasies of the network of Lithuanian diplomatic missions, time intervals between first and second rounds and different time zones, led to these issues.
Don’t forget the voters abroad
The World Lithuanian Community calls for all possible measures, to be initiated to resolve this persistent problem, including the most effective option for electronic voting in certain foreign countries where it is most crucial.
The LWC also notes that, although the referendum on the preservation of citizenship has failed to obtain sufficient supportive votes, it is important that the referendum is considered to have taken place. The abundance of supporting votes sends a clear signal to all the authorities of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court judges of the Republic of Lithuania, the newly elected President of the Republic of Lithuania. Members of the Government and members of the Seimas seek ways to resolve this issue immediately.
The Lithuanians of the world work in their daily activities in hundreds of Lithuanian schools, attracting millions of investments and other cultural and social activities for the welfare of Lithuania and carry out a mission of non-governmental ambassadors.
The LWC is the largest expatriate umbrella organization established in the US in 1958, uniting Lithuanian communities in 47 countries. In 2019, the 70th anniversary of the Lithuanian Charta was mentioned as well as the year of the World Lithuanian Year. We are inviting all Lithuanian governmental representatives to make and carry out in this year decisions that bring a qualitatively new direction to the Lithuanian diaspora policy. We are one International Nation and act communally for the good of our common Homeland.