«Political and corruption-prevention experts say Unity politician Girts Valdis Kristovskis’ decision to participate in elections in Ventspils is positive, because such a competitor with experience in state administration will be a serious opponent for the current mayor of Ventspils, making elections more interesting and potentially bringing changes to this port city,» TVNET reports.
Politologist Janis Ikstens reminds about results of the latest surveys, which state that Ventspils residents’ satisfaction with the work of the current administration is becoming more and more critical year after year. «There have been plenty of scandals lately. Ports have their own problems as well: cargo turnover declines and disputes with businessmen continue. All of it contributes to society deciding to band together,» the politologist said.
Ikstens is certain that Kristovskis, considering his experience in politics, defence and foreign affairs and the Saeima, can become a healthy addition to competition in this city. «Kristovskis has serious weight in Latvia’s politics. Kristovskis is a government official, a minister and coordinator of Latvia’s membership in NATO, who successfully coordinated and finished this process to its end. He is a well-known figure,» the politologist told TVNET.
Speaking of Aivars Lembergs’ accomplishments for the development of Ventspils, the expert told the portal that he is the head of a very wealthy port city. «My test for Lembergs’ flexibility is simple – put him in charge of, say Aluksne, and see how much he can do there,» the expert said.
In regards to Kristovskis’ ability to become mayor, Ikstens reminded that in the 2009 municipal elections, Kristovskis had basically forced his political power into Riga City Council, leaving Ainars Slesers in the dust.
Janis Volberts, director of Delna – Society for Openness, told TVNET that he is certain that opposition growing stronger is a good sign. Change of power would also be beneficial from a corruption context. «It is no surprise there is a rotational instrument available on the public space that helps prevent corruption and abuse of power. Remaining in power for several terms puts people at risks of using associates and cooperation partners in ways that are not in the best of interest of society,» Volberts told TVNET, adding that this is why many important posts have very strict terms. «Having the same person remain in power for a long time does not contribute to a healthy political and business environment in Ventspils,» says Delna’s representative.
Journalist Karlis Streips also has a positive opinion on the fact that someone else is prepared to compete with Lembergs. Streips is happy that Kristovskis is from Ventspils, as he may be very popular among locals.