Thursday, June 3, 2010

TRANSfiguration of the political system

Transfiguration is usually referred to the religious and miraculous transformations. To avoid meddling into sphere of divine I underlined the TRANS part in order to stress the aspect of transition. While our lives are transitory we still live within societies that create more or less stable systems and institutions of governance. Whilst following debates in the Latvian society I have made some hypothetical assumptions about the society which has been disoriented due to wrong constitutional principles, lack of rule of law, deindustrialization and constant decrease of funds for the educational sector. The latter aspect during those economically turbulent times has literally impoverished Latvian higher education system. Thus, rather large chunk of society is hoping for divine intervention, and it vicariously underlines the figuration part in header:) The Latvian demos majority instead of taking their fate in their own hands hopes for messiah. Thus the Latvian political system suffers under the stress of post-totalitarian inertia. Europeanization of the Latvian political system has halted since Latvia joined the European Union, and the traditional pressure groups and authorities still have unduly authority, thus preventing legal rational authority to reign supreme.

The Latvian Supreme Court on November 3, 2006 ruled that during the October 2006 parliamentary elections victorious People's Party (PP) and The Latvian Way and First Party Union (LWFPU) breached the election law. The Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) under the leadership of A.Loskutovs demanded both parties to pay about 2.mlj EUR (LVL1mlj PP & LVL500 000 thousand LWFPU) into state treasury. Insistence of Mr Loskutovs office appeared to be thus dangerous, that Aleksejs Loskutovs was illegally sacked in 2008. The Latvian Prosecutor's Office was meek enough, and today neither the monies are paid into treasury nor the previously mentioned parties banned. Illegality of Mr Loskutovs sacking was proven by court decision at the end of 2009, but Prime Ministers have changed twice since Mr Loskutovs was fired. While one of the former heads of the cabinet simply did not care about the state affairs, another one at least expressed his wish to see the most qualified person running for the KNAB. Nevertheless, Normunds Vilnitis with rather questionable credentials was found. Heavily indebted Mr Vilnītis (his personal liabilities amount EUR 200 000 and his wife's amount LVL 1,5mlj) is reshuffling organizational structure of KNAB, and it appears to be thus important that some odious persons attentively follow the latest news in this sensitive office. In the meantime oligarchic PP& LWLFP party organizations merged and their spin doctors are having a feast and electioneering!

Virtual dismemberment of the properly functioning legal system go hand in hand with the election campaign today. Instead of following principles of due process the same corrupt politicians continue their cynical politicking, and this is just a perfect Māris Bišofs cartoon explaining how the political kitchen of Latvia Ltd. works:)

Slesis (The former Minister of Transport Ainars Lesinskis-Slesers)
TP (tautas partija) - People's Party (PP)
LPP (latvijas pirmā partija) - Latvian First Party (FP)
PLL (par labu latviju) - For Good Latvia (movement of corrupt entrepreneurs feeding for the last 20. years on government contracts, and designed to enable PP + LWFPU to avoid paying circa 2. mlj EUR into state treasury and LEGALLY run for the parliament AGAIN)


As a consequence there is little faith left for Europeanized change in this only remaining post-totalitarian Baltic State. After the President Vaira Vike Freiberga left the office the election process of the new head of the Supreme Court, three members of the Constitutional Court, the head of the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Prosecutor General have been questionable to sound diplomatic enough. At times when the republic of Latvia experiences questioning of its very raison d'etre unqualified shenanigans are promoted for jobs in public office and there is no one to enforce the rule of law...

P.S. Here are the links to my April and May articles in the Baltic Times. For Latvian readers here is a link to my article in IR and for Estonian readers here is a link to my article in Diplomaatia.


Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Veiko,

I am not sure whether I get the message. Do you mean to say that parties have been fined by court for breaching election laws on campaign financing?



Veiko Spolitis said...

Dear Vilhelm!

Sorry for being not fully comprehensible, but the thesis defense marathon just finished at the university and exhaustion probably had an effect on writing style:)

My short answer is YES, and here is chronological order:

1. Supreme Court ruled on November 3, 2006 that LPP/LC + TP ''third party financing'' was illegal (head of the one third party NGO was then the head of the PM Chancellery Mr Jurgis Liepnieks) but not thus illagal to announce the October 2006 elections illegitimate.

2. On August 2007 the LPP/LC political union transformed into political party after the Corruption Preventioned Bureau head A.Loskutovs demanded LPP/LC to pat 500 000 Ls back into treasury.

3. The Riga District Court ruled (gotta check when exactly:) that TP must pay 1mlj Ls back into treasury, and TP overrules. Now it is known that the next instance court decision wont come prior October 3, 2010.

4. If LC-LPP + TP would create PLL (Par Labu Latviju - For Good Latvia) political union then they would legally be not liable about the sins of LC-LPP & TP....unles the Prosecutor General would be willing to prevent the high fly of legal nihilism.......

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