Corruption, Legislation, Lithuania, Society

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 26.05.2020, 23:12

Rerun elections to be held in Trakai due to bribing

BC, Vilnius, 09.03.2015.Print version
Due to gross violations recorded in the first round of municipal elections in Trakai District, the Central Electoral Commission (VRK) declared the results invalid and decided that a rerun election in Trakai District will take place on 7 June 2015, informs LETA/ELTA.

The VRK held a hearing and announced the decision on Sunday, 8 March.


"Election results cannot be trusted, hence the VRK declared them invalid. We decided that a rerun election should be held on 7 June of this year. Candidates will be registered and constituency electoral committee formed anew," the VRK Chairman Zenonas Vaigauskas told the journalists.


According to him, there are no plans to ask for additional funds to organise elections.


"Voters helped us save a considerable amount of money by electing 19 mayors already in the first round. Therefore we are not planning yet to ask for additional funds from the state budget," said Vaigauskas.


According to the chairman, on 7 June elections to the Seimas will most probably take place in those single-member constituencies where members of parliament were elected as mayors.


Based on preliminary data available to Rokas Stabingis, a member of the Central Electoral Commission (VRK), it was attempted to bribe over 1,000 voters in Trakai District.


According to Stabingis, a working group reviewed the results from 10 constituencies in the town of Trakai and found that seals of 444 covering letters of ballot papers were breached. He said this was a high number and the damage was possibly deliberate. Stabingis did not reveal which party might have benefited from this. According to him, "there were various parties and it was difficult to single out just one".


The member of the VRK said a pre-trial investigation was launched because voters were transported to polling stations. "We believe that approximately 900-1,000 voters could have been given a lift taking advantage of the situation and influencing their will," said Stabingis.


As reported, on Friday, 6 March, the VRK satisfied Vilnius Regional Prosecutor's Office request to prosecute six candidates nominated by Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas' party the Lithuanian Liberty Union (Liberals). Two of them won mandates in Trakai District.


Criminal intelligence intercepted telephone conversations and messages incriminating the candidates for conspiring to transport voters to polling stations and rewarding them for voting for certain candidates.

The Central Electoral Commission's (VRK) decision to hold a rerun election due to possible gross violations in Trakai is logical and welcome, claims the Liberal Movement's leader Eligijus Masiulis.


"We welcome this principled decision of the VRK. We commend the VRK for not postponing and waiting for the second round of elections. Vote buying must not be tolerated – there can be no doubt about the transparency and fairness of elections," read the statement of the Liberal Movement.


The statement highlights that on 5 March the Liberal Movement referred to the VRK requesting to annul the results of municipal elections in Trakai District and to hold new elections there, thus ensuring their transparency.


Edita Rudeliene, Mayor of Trakai District, says she is ready to participate in a rerun election. "More than 4,000 residents of Trakai region gave their votes to the Liberal Movement in the first round of municipal elections. Their trust is encouragement to continue the work," said Rudeliene.

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