Ušackas calls for postponing Lithuania's TS-LKD presidential primaries
Vygaudas Ušackas on Tuesday called on the opposition conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats to postpone the party's primary election of a presidential candidate until December to give citizens living abroad a possibility to vote.
"I support the initiative of Lithuanians living in the United States and the United Kingdom and back their proposal to postpone TS-LKD's open primaries until December and not only find a proper solution during that time to let Lithuanian citizens living abroad to take part in this democratic celebration but also hold debates of TS-LKD' open primaries, for example, in London and Chicago," Ušackas said in a statement.
"Otherwise, this democratic celebration risks becoming a closed party for friends and family with personal invitations only," he added.
According to Ušackas, Lithuanians living abroad find it hard to comprehend how it's impossible in this technological century to find proper ways to ensure a voting procedure in the US, UK, Ireland, Norway and Germany, the countries where hundreds of thousands of Lithuanian citizens reside.
"I find it difficult to understand this situation myself. Over the last five months, I have approached the party's leadership more than once, asking if and how Lithuanians living abroad will be able to take part in the TS-LKD primaries. Every time I was assured that they were looking for a solution and it would be found. But it now turns out that they were just promises," Ušackas said.
TS-LKD representatives say primaries will not be held abroad taking into account warnings from part of the party's foreign branches which say they will not have resources to properly organize voting.
TS-LKD plans to hold its presidential primaries on Nov. 3-4 when Ušackas will vie against MP Ingrida Šimonytė.