Thursday, January 31, 2008

Biggest opposition "New Era" party split! (UPDATED)

Like a lightening from the sky the news came this evening, and it is a fact now approved by LETA news agency. The biggest Latvian opposition party members - Sandra Kalniete, Kārlis Šadurskis, Ina Druviete, Ilma Čepāne and Aivars Aksenoks - left the New Era (JL) party. In addition to that also 22 members [mostly leaders] from local municipalities have left the flock.

It is BIG news and would probably take about couple of weeks to understand how would it affect OR transform the existing majority coalition in the Latvian parliament.

If only local municipality members would have left the party, I would have understood that. In Latvian unitary state it is extremely hard to survive in local municiplities, when your party is in opposition and is TOTALLY out from the loop. The fact that highly educated members of the New Era left is understood due to animosities in the party leadership. It was long known "secret" that the party was on the brink of splitting due to ambivalent role of the founder of the party Einārs Repše.

For those of you who have forgotten the results of the last [2006] parliamentary elections, Mr Repše got +44181 votes, BUT also 26371 minuses. Thus, Mr Repše was not only far behind the most popular party member and presidential candidate Ms Sandra Kalniete who got +67806 and 4420 minuses, but also below the incumbent leader of the party Mr Krišjānis Kariņš who got + 25721 and 4647 minuses - Mr Repše simply squandered his charisma.

OK, it is public now, and I assume that those who departed New Era could join forces with the newly founded party of Messrs Štokenbergs and Pabriks [announcements about cooperation in the parliament attest to that]. Thats it, and there were thus many news in an average winter day, huh, uhh! It is a bit sad that these these JL members decided to make such a radical move thus unexpetedly, but already Adlai E. Stevenson uttered, that: "Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely."

I do not believe that this splinter group was leaving the party without a bigger plan in mind, thus tremors are expected in a seemingly calm Latvian political landscape. All in all, the comic "Lets perform the Latvian State" could not keep on like this forever, and the false stability had to unravel one day. Lets wait now, what news shall Friday bring us first:)

UPDATED

Its Friday morning and former New Era (JL) member Sandra Kalniete and Solvita Āboltiņa (JL) were talking in the Latvian Radio morning news. Discussion was down to earth or womanly, if it is possible to describe it so.

Already yesterday most of the news agencies announced that Mr Štokenbergs [MP and former minister of Regional Affairs who was thrown out from the Peoples's party (TP)] started creating his shadow cabinet and would open his organization's bureau on February 15, 2008. Also Trade Union representatives handed about 11300 authorized signatures to the Central Electoral Commission to initiate constitutional amendments, that would allow not only president [according to the present Constitution Part III Art.48 ] but also certain size of citizenry [100 000] to initiate the procedure to dissolve the parliament (Saeima).

Aforementioned news together with the breaking announcement about highly educated members of the JL splitting off from the party make me reckon that formative changes in the stagnated Latvian political playground are coming. Rumours about former PM Kalvītis becoming the head of Latvian Gas Plc. (Latvijas Gāze), outright criminal behaviour of the AAA (Šlesers, Šķēle, Lembergs) team, growing impact of the Russian business interests are probably making also the TP, Union of Greens and Farmers and other governing coalition rank & file party members uneasy.

Therefore, I assume from those events that consensus in the Latvian parliament is forming to follow the Polish 2007 example and initiate the senario of its own [Saeima] dispersal. The simple costs & benefits analysis should make them [MP's] think that whilst blindly following their self-enriching party lions they are entitled only for scavengers lot. Also government performance [throughout 2007] showed that playing a Russian rulette [as government has played so far] could possibly leave them even without a state of their own. Lets wait for news from the Saeima, and see what impact the circa 11 thousand signatures would play here. Huh, huh...at least chages are in the air, GOOD!!

9 comments:

m said...

Will this new party be strong enough to take on 1) Russia and its interests; 2) the A-team and their interests; 3) headstrong but good politicians; and 4) the infiltration into the group by the above 3?

I fear that if the party revolves around any one single person, it will cause the same BS as before. If there is a multi-headed party that stands for clean hands, strong but liberal Latvia, one committed to development and Europe, one that looks at Russia with practicality rather than subserviency, then maybe we'll have a good happy ending here...

Baltic said...

Dear M,

I assume that charismatic policy in endowing all the power in one person would be the biggest mistake ever. Aigars Shtokenbergs is not the charisma type, and I really do not see that anyone would be able to take that role now (meaning if you haven't heard about anyone sofar, then there is no chance to become one soon:)

1) Russia and its interests;

what do you mean by that?

2) the A-team and their interests;

interpol deals with that at least from sources I have larned, and the new institution no only have to finish the remnants of AAA team off, but to offer viable option for dissalowing its revival. Mandatory Income and property declaration serves its purpose, but I guess that there should also be some work vis-a-vis personel in some institutions, and here I cant answer you due to dicretion of the question at stake:)

3) headstrong but good politicians;

shall tell you later, but I believe that even more than headstrong and god politicians is VIABLE AND RATIONAL ideology [ see forthcoming article]

4) the infiltration into the group by the above 3?

guess, my answer to the question 2) partially answered to your questions, but I guess that it is possible:)

fingers crossed

Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Great coverage, Veiko.

Baltic said...

Paldies Pēteris:)

Sometimes I really start to think that Latvians need at least 40 years of wandering in desert...

Alas, then I look on my other side, Estonians, and do understandt that the whole reflection on Moses and his flock from the land of Israel is a wrong allegory, unfortunately

While talking about JL, I am afraid that the pragmtic wing in the party could lose out to the traditionalist & "wholistic" preachers of the unity a'la 1920's fraction... . Lets wait and see

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