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Leader of Lithuanian Poles: Name spelling issue will not be raised during coalition talks

Valdemaras Tomaševskis
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Valdemar Tomaševski
Šaltinis: BNS
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Valdemar Tomaševski, leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, said on Tuesday his party would not raise the issue of spelling non-Lithuanian names at the political level during potential coalition talks.

"Name spelling is a very important issue, as a surname and a first name is individual's property, just like private property. But that's not a political issue, it’s an issue of the protection of human rights," Tomaševski told BNS.

"If that's not a political issue, we'll not raise it at the political level," he added.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and Polish politicians supporting it have asked Lithuanian authorities to allow spelling of non-Lithuanian names in official documents using non-Lithuanian Latin characters.

According to current regulations, non-Lithuanian names that are originally spelled with characters that are not included in the Lithuanian alphabet - like w, q, or x - must be phonetically transcribed in passports and other official documents.

The Government of Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius submitted a law on name spelling to the Seimas last year but it was voted down by the majority.

The name spelling issue has also been raised on numerous occasions in Lithuanian-Polish relations.

Asked whether the Social Democrats, winners of the recent Seimas elections, had invited his party to coalition talks, Tomaševski said consultations constantly take place, but it was too early to talk about any negotiations.

"I think it's too early to speak about that, as we need to wait for the election results. Of course, consultations take place, we regularly meet, we meet on TV. We need to wait. I believe all scenarios are possible," Tomaševski said.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania secured 8 seats in the Lithuanian Seimas during the recent general elections.

BNS
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