Under 7% of Lithuanians have voted in land sale ban referendum by 1p.m.

Referendum

Only 6.44 percent of eligible voters have expressed their will at 1p.m. in the referendum on a proposed ban to sell agricultural land to foreigners and legal entities, being held in Lithuania on Sunday, which is several times lower that during the recent elections in May.

Only 6.44 percent of eligible voters have expressed their will at 1p.m. in the referendum on a proposed ban to sell agricultural land to foreigners and legal entities, being held in Lithuania on Sunday, which is several times lower that during the recent elections in May.

"The turnout is not very high. The vote is taking place smoothly. We have practically received no complaints on violations. There are no serious violations. There have been only a few reports in total but there are none that might cause doubts over the referendum," Zenonas Vaigauskas, chairman of Lithuania's Central Electoral Commission, told a press conference on Sunday.

"We can compare to the May 11 turnout when it was 26.96 percent. So, now the turnout is several times lower," he added.

Vaigauskas underlined that there are districts where the turnout is under 1 proc.

According to the head of the election panel, the police had received a report on an incident in Jurbarkas, south-western Lithuania, were a man was driving around the town in a car covered with posters and called on people through a loudspeaker to come to vote. "The police detained the man and launched an investigation," Laura Matijošaitytė, a member of the election panel, said.

The panel has also received a report on leaflets on the referendum left on the windscreens of cars and agitation information published on a social network. An article on a violation has also found on one of websites.

There are over 2.532 million people eligible to vote in Lithuania.

The referendum on constitutional amendments is being held after its initiative group collected 300,000 signatures in favour.

In Lithuania, for a referendum to be deemed valid, at least 50 percent of voters have to vote. The majority of experts expect, however, a considerably lower turnout.

Voters are being asked to express their approval or disapproval of the proposed ban to sell agricultural land to foreigners and legal entities. They are also being asked to lower the required number of signatures to hold a referendum to 100,000 signatures from existing 300,000.

Critics say, however, such a ban would breach Lithuania's EU commitments.

Source: BNS
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