Latvian leftist MEPs Andrejs Mamikins (Harmony) and Tatjana Zdanoka (Russian Union of Latvia) have submitted petitions in support of Latvian and Estonian non-citizens to the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions. Mamikins told LETA that they had collected over 20,000 signatures under the petition, and there were residents of Belgium, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, the United States, Canada, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh among the signatories of the petition. The petition seeks the rights for Estonia’s non-citizens to become members of political parties and to vote in the European Parliament election and, in the case of Latvia’s non-citizens, the right to vote in the European Parliament election.
The petition says that there were 82,341 non-citizens in Estonia and 252,017 non-citizens in Latvia at the beginning of 2016.
“These are huge numbers, considering that total population is around 2 million in Latvia and about 1.3 million in Estonia. Those people are not allowed to vote in the European Parliament election, although they are counted in when the number of seats [due to Latvia and Estonia in the European Parliament] is determined,” Mamikins said.