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Friday 19.01.2018 | Name days: Alnis, Andulis

Deputies: Zatlers can start preparing for ceremonial reception

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The President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers

The President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers can start cooling a bottle of champagne and polishing shoes for formal reception – such phrases are currently expressed by the Saeima deputies after the voiced support for Zatlers’ re-election.

However, nervousness is felt in the politicians’ statements, because the president is elected in a closed voting, so any deputy who has promised to vote «on» can change his views at the last minute, reports the newspaper Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze.

Last weekend, the national association of All For Latvia! – Fatherland and Freedom/ LNNK (Visu Latvijai!–Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK, AFL! -TB/LNNK) voiced support for Zatlers’ re-election. Consequently, 33 deputies of the association Unity (Vienotība), eight deputies of For Good Latvia (Par labu Latviju), seven deputies of AFL! -TB/LNNK, as well as about 15 Greens and Farmers Union (Zaļo un zemnieku savienība, GFU) deputies have promised their votes to Zatlers. So, Zatlers can count on 63 votes, although 51 votes would be sufficient for maintaining the post.

However, despite all political forces categorically promise there will be no surprises, unofficially the MPs are already prepared that the planned outcome will differ from the final result.

The GFU faction head Augusts Brigmanis confirms that the theory differs from practice after nearly each closed Saeima voting. If all these political forces indeed vote for Valdis Zatlers, then the GFU will easily attain the significant three votes . According to such estimates, Mr Zatlers can already start polishing his shoes. Yet the situation is really not clear, because Valdis Zatlers is supported by the same people who strongly opposed him four years ago, wishing to see Aivars Endziņš in the president’s post, Brigmanis emphasized.

The fact that verbal commitments are not always consistent with the politicians’ actual behaviour, according to the association Unity faction deputy chairperson Ilze Viņķele’s observations.

After a closed voting it often turns out that the promised votes by the Saeima deputies do not coincide with the actual results, creating grounds for parties to blame each other in lying, although it is impossible to find the culprit. The Counting Committee has shown me that it is not possible to decipher each deputy’s vote. Those times have gone when parties’ leadership used different colour pens or marked ballot papers to control their members, emphasized the faction deputy head. Commenting on Zatlers’ chances of being re-elected, Viņķele confirmed that all 33 association’s politicians still promise to vote for Zatlers. The association’s rules stipulate our deputies may vote – also in closed voting – contrary to the faction’s common standpoint, yet presently no politician has expressed such intention. Therefore, if other parties keep their promises, it looks like Zatlers can put a bottle of champaign to cool in the refrigerator, said the Unity faction deputy chairperson.

While the AFL! -TB/LNNK representative Raivis Dzintars has his own view on Zatlers’ staying for second term. The politician did not hide that the association’s decision expressed last week was not an easy one. There are still issues where we disagree with Mr Zatlers’ vision, also on visa-free regime with Russia and facilitating naturalization policy; however, there are many aspects where our views coincide. Moreover, the main argument in favor of Valdis Zatlers remaining in office is that by not supporting him, we would support a cat in the bag, which is more dangerous.

It is possible that the cat in the bag or a candidate unexpectedly nominated for the second round of elections would be put forward by the Harmony Centre (Saskaņas centrs). Cleraly, our association would not wish to allow this. Consequently, with the support of Valdis Zatlers we have indirectly undermined the importance of the Harmony Centre, the politician said.


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  1. Wer says:

    Still, I have also heard other variants..

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