Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Referendum after all? (updated)

Today the Central Electoral Bureau of Latvia published intermediary data of signatures collection campaign. The signatures collection campaign is needed for initiation of the referendum that would enable civil society in Latvia to rid itself from the illegitimate Quadriumvirate of coalition parties.

Coalition parties cannot agree on the best "privatization" deal of the Lattelecom Plc. The deals and swaps of stocks between Lattelecom, Latvian Mobile Telephony (LMT), Telia Sonera and Balckstone Group are thus complicated, that there is a need for team of experts to realize who wants to overplay whom. The fact that there are several intermediaries proves to me, that the state treasury would get the least out for this scandalous privatization deal. Thus all the extravagant plans about the new library also euphemistically called the "the Castle of Light" would simply turn out to be baloney or "castles of Air". The PM announced on April 1, that there will be voting procedure with every minister given the freedom to choose the best privatization deal possible next Tuesday. With such a choice of liberty in cabinet voting (that should strive for unanimity by definition) I would argue that next Tuesday vote would initiate gradual demise of the existing government.

In the meantime Vents Krauklis (the Head of Saeima energy commission) had an lengthy article in "Diena" today with a flood of inconsistent and openly demagogic arguments. I was glad to read that the head of Latvian North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (LATO) Mr Sandis Šrāders was quickly and very effectively able to retort to wrong arguments of the Saeima head of the energy commission (TP member), GOOD INDEED!

The latest news from the CVK show that 82 495 citizens (55%) have already signed for the initiation of the referendum. These news are good, but in the meantime one still must wait till the April 10 deadline, when the final date for circa 150 000 signatures to be collected expires.


It is early Wednesday morning and there are more news coming out to support the initiation of the referendum. "Diena" reports that there are several new candidates for the post of the Latvian Intelligence Service (SAB). In his March 31 radio interview (Latvian Radio 1) Valdis Zatlers approved that the state Security Council would chose the new head of SAB by April 11. In his interview he did show vicarious support for the incumbent head of the SAB Jānis Kažociņš. I was taking this lack of support as a sign that incumbent president is not really impartial in his decision making.

My apprehensions are supported by the head of People's Party (TP) parliamentary fraction Māris Kučinskis, who believes that the head of the intelligence service should not be in power longer than five years. Such notion would disqualify the incumbent head of the SAB Mr Kažociņš. Also, and very similar to the presidential election "campaign" last May, Mr Aivis Ronis (former Ambassador in Washington D.C.), and the chief Administrator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Normunds Penke were proposed for the position. Mr Aivis Ronis declined such news saying, that he does not believe that he could become the next head of the SAB.

Funniest news just came out from Latvian radio. Latvian Radio 1 interviewed Mr Aivis Ronis and inquired him about the NATO Bucharest summit and the proposed candidacy to the post in SAB. Aivis Ronis was very concise and diplomatic in his answers, and the conclusion of an interview was that probably the president and ministers are endowed with enough common sense to choose the best candidate for the post of the intelligence agency.

Irony of the previous conclusion is that I believe neither in impartiality of the incumbent president nor in several ministers and the head of Saeima security committee Mr Dzintrs Jaundžeikars. Forget about the fact that president Zatlers was "found" in Riga Zoo. Yesterday it became public that he did not report a single line about his illegal payments in his annual income declaration! Either Internal Revenue Service is blind in Latvia, or incumbent president is gradually becoming more similar to inmates of the institution he was actually found? Actually, inmates of that institution were simply called "more equal than others" in the famous essay of George Orwell "Animal Farm". But here I am probably becoming too ironic. Thus, political columnist Ms Laila Pakalniņa from "Diena" states very simply: "president most probably submitted his income declaration prior April 1, thus customarily to this day of humour Valdis Zatlers is not even able to joke about his payments in funny April, April style", sad.


Anonymous said...

Goodness, I can't even read these posts anymore. It pushes my blood pressure up too high. The European Commission is always criticising Bulgaria -- but why not Latvia? Latvia is doing a heck lot worse than any other country!

You have 4 parties-of-power colluding to keep power and the spoils. Two new upstarts that will prove no better. A discredited left-wing, a quack for a president, and no intelligence chief. My goodness, maybe Latvia is a good place for Mr Mugabe to move to!

Baltic said...

Aye, aye mate and unfortunately Latvia is the EU pariah with all the consequences to bear... . I am wondering when Brussels woukd wake up, bercause the referendum campaign that would ignite the empowermen of the civil society is still a possibility. Fingers crossed and hope dies the last one!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Brussels will wake up to this. They have so many other problems, and it's easy to kick Bulgaria and Romania because they have so many conditions. If they criticise Latvia and no one else, they'll look like they are being one-sided. And you know how Riga will react to that (much like, sadly, Vilnius).

Riga needs a serious butt-kicking to wake up. I have little hopes that the 2 new parties will clean things up (especially since 1 of them has compromised members already and the second has tons of allegations against too). There is way too much corruption. Latvia is turning into the Italy of the North...

Baltic said...

Dear Friend! Latvia is not turning but IT IS Italy of the North!! I will do everything possible to turn the tide, because while Italy has enough manpower and Northern Italian part (so called Padania), Latvia has none of those....Change of post-societ mandarin class and forced education is the KEY, and shall see how will work for implementing our plans:) You have all the rights to be critical, but whilst being on the ground you gotta think how to get out of the point zero:)

Anonymous said...

Hy friend, "Padania" is no less corrupt than il mezzogiorno. It just has more money and more sophisticated ways to be corrupt. Plus, Rome is ultimately more corrupt than the north and south together. Just like Riga. And you have that "law upon itself" land called Jurmala and the "fiefdom" of Ventspils. Ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

Don,t you worry friends!
Very soon everithing will be diffrent for the better in my contry.
Thanks for this article.Hope this can be translated and past to the local media.