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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Ex-deputy chief of anti-corruption bureau: I have no doubt the prime minister and president dance to Lembergs’ tune

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«For ten year now Aivars Lembergs has been under the ban to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council. And for the same period of time Lembergs and state officials have been ignoring this ban. Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards, who is responsible for supervising municipalities and is very well-informed of the truce power centre, which, unfortunately, is not Latvian citizens as it is stated in the country’s Constitution, goes to visit Lembergs, not Ventspils. He does that to demonstrate his fealty to the ruler as he would if we lived in the Middle Ages,» says politician from New Conservative Party, councillor of Riga city Council and former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juta Strīķe.

The press-release published on the New Conservative Party’s website details Strīķe’s opinion. In it, she mentions that the official reason for Gerhards’ visit to Ventspils is observing the preventive measures performed there to lower the risk of flood and coastal erosion. However, during one of his weekly press-conferences Aivars Lembergs detailed his agenda for meeting with the minister. Topics the two of them will discuss include municipal reforms, education reforms and other matters.

«The fact that the suspended head of a small Latvian municipality can decide which matters he intends to discuss with a minister and which he does not, makes me think back to the scandalous Ridzene talks, in which Lembergs talked about a way of getting two very influential posts in the country by making a president and a prime minister. I think this is exactly what happened – Lembergs owns and commands both the prime minister and president,» says Strīķe.

She continues: «I personally have no doubts that both Māris Kučinskis and Raimonds Vējonis dance to Lembergs’ tune. Such a state of affairs is completely anti-constitutional and is more akin to feudalism or mafia structure, but what else is there that would fit the term ‘state capture’? I don’t doubt that officially this will be denied, but people can see for themselves that even the prime minister is unable to say a word against half-tried, suspended municipal official. It does, however, work the other way around.»

According to Strīķe, Lembergs’ influence over state-level politicians in Latvia is possible thanks to the unwillingness of ruling parties and highest-ranking officials to notice his blatant violations of different legal and security restrictions.

«Unfortunately, proof of Lembergs’ bribing politicians never made it to the court to sustain charges. Nevertheless, this evidence did help plot out the sheer scale of corruption in Latvia. There is no reason to believe ‘special scholarships’ are not provided to politicians nowadays. On top of that, there is no hope left of the prosecutor general or chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau doing anything to prevent it,» says Juta Strīķe.

According to her, only political power can steal the country from a feudal-mafia state and return it to the path detailed in Satversme. «The people have to be clever in order to see through political propaganda and lies, and ensure law and order in the next Saeima elections. This would help ensure economic blossoming and welfare for Latvia,» said Strīķe.


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  1. Ilmars says:

    The Latvian parliament is nothing more than a bunch of crooks.
    The way to fix this, is to boot these thieves out at the coming elections.
    After we get some honest politicians, the first thing to do is to fix a broken anticorruption system. They should then go after Lembergs, Slesers, Skele, Aboltina, Strelcenoks etc etc etc etc.
    The slogan for the next election should be “kick the thieves out”

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