Monday, March 1, 2010

Approaching elections and tectonic shifts in Latvia

Prior last parliamentary elections the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) political union added the pocket party ''For Latvia and Ventspils'' into its fold. Major reason for such a move was the fact that the major financier of both parties is the Major of Ventspils. Such move initiated a trend of consolidation among existing political parties in Latvia. The next one to follow was the political union between the Latvian First and Latvian Way parties (LFLWP). The LFLWP in its party congress in August 2007 merged as one party to avoid possible legal consequences concerning breach of the political party campaign limits in the election law.
The Harmony Centre (HC) political union was gradually expanding its membership since last parliamentary elections. Number of smaller left to the centre parties (Social Democrats and Daugavpils City Party) have joined the major left to the centre political union so far, and HC is comfortably leading polls for a year already.
As if responding to the minuscule support that Latvian electorate has shown to the fractional political parties also Latvian Europeanized political parties have discussed possible merger into political union for a half of a year already. The Civic Union split from the New Era party in early 2008. The gradually shifting political landscape made them to reconsider the move and since Summer 2009 Prime Minister's New Era, Civic Union and Society for Different Politics have held political consultations about principles of possible merger into political union. The consultations were fruitful and on March 6 the political union ''Unity'' would be founded in Riga.
Half a month ago there were only speculations about possible political union between the People's Party and LFLWP. This morning the Minister of Regional Affairs in the LNT 900 sekundes TV program did not exclude the possibility of creating a Latvian First People's Party political union because according to Minister Zalans demand for such a union exists particularly in Latvian regions.
The elections campaign is starting in earnest, and while expecting the follow up of the ''Unity'' congress (which other political parties joining them?) I am wondering whether the proposed Latvian First People's Party political union is not another way of avoiding paying due fines into state treasury? After all, the LFLWP already created precedent of not paying about 500 000 lats into state treasury and People's Party is due to pay about LVL 1mlj. Latvian State Prosecutors should not let those two gravest examples of legal nihilism to go unattended. The principle of legal succession should still work in Latvia, does it?

7 comments:

TRex said...

No wonder Italians like it here in Latvia so much! The political landscape resembles so much the "Pizza Parliament" of Italian history.

But under Silvio Italy is moving towards Fascism. With the right/wrong leader Latvia could soon follow.

Duncan said...

Dear Veiko, I'm a journalist with Risk magazine in London.

I'm interested in the Dienvidu bridge financing (an old story in Riga, obviously!) and would be keen to contact you directly. When you have a moment, please email me at duncan.wood@incisivemedia.com.

Thanks!

Nelielrīdziniece said...

Sveiks, Veiko! : )

Just a minor comment. Among the many reasons for this sudden rush to form electoral alliances: there isn't a single party in or out of government capable of providing 5 'locomotives,' i.e., one sure-fire 'draw' in each of the electoral constituencies. I may have written about this here a year ago when Zatlers presented his ultimatum that Saeima ban the practice of a single candidate running simultaneously in all five constituencies. In any case, these electoral alliances (many of which will collapse after the election) was predictable.

If Šķēles TP & Šlesers' LPP/LC do actually combine to avoid TP's debt from the last election to LV's coffers - then that does suggest that Šķēle's fortune took a helluva hit when the economy collapsed. Many people lost half (if not more) of their savings.

Visu labu,

Elizabete

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Veiko Spolitis said...

Hi Nelielridzeniece!

Agree with you about the amendments in election law serving as a major determinant for AAA team being unusually active. Nevertheless, wanted to give a broader picture rather than the naroow minded politicking we ītness in LV so far:)

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