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Wednesday 16.08.2017 | Name days: Astrīda, Astra

Green Party to ask Lembergs to explain his dislike toward Vejonis

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast week, Aivars Lembergs joked around about presidential candidates. Particularly, he praised Maris Riekstins as a great candidate and called Zatlers and idiot.

During a meeting held by the Union of Greens and Farmers last week, officials discussed how they would propose their candidates for the post of President of Latvia and then select the one that suits all the most. This agreement was breached by politicians of Latvian Farmers Union, who had secretly published the decision made during the meeting to propose Janis Duklavs, Uldis Augulis and Andris Ravins as presidential candidates, as reported by Nekā Personīga programme of TV3.

Chairperson of Liepaja Council Uldis Sesks has personally voiced his intention to participate in the upcoming presidential elections. He had been mentioned as a potential candidate during the congress of the Green Party last week.

As noted by Co-Chairman of the Green Party Viesturs Silenieks: «If we speak if Raimonds Vejonis, professionals have already expressed their opinion about his prior work by proposing him as a candidate to be handed a Three Star Order. […] It stands as proof of one’s accomplishments before the fatherland and in one’s work. Do you have any doubts left that the Green Party does not have its own candidate?»

Silenieks continued discussing this topic in his interview with Rietumu Radio on 20 April. He called Aivars Lembergs possible protests against Vejonis as anti-Latvian.

Silenieks said in his radio interview:

-Right now his [Vejonis] role is in defence. Although he was initially criticized in his post, now all the critics have gone silent.

-Except for Lembergs.

-Yes, he is the only one. Well, ’was the only one’ until recently. Russia does not like Vejonis all that much as well. This only makes us stronger and happier. The same applies to opinions that do not sit with state politics. Because Vejonis has proven himself and raises less and less doubts, your argument only proves that he is hard to influence.

Lembergs has heard of all this. It has irritated him so much, in fact, that he had called Saeima deputy Ilmars Lidaka in the middle of the night to confirm if it is the Green Party’s official position. After being told no, Lembergs called a conference on 22 April to spill everything he had built up against Silenieks throughout the years. As it turns out, it was Lembergs’ blessing that allowed Silenieks to become a member of the board of Riga Freeport, head of the Procurements Committee and the current head of the Development Department. Lembergs’ good heart has apparently reached its limit. With that, he said he will no longer support Silenieks politically, as mentioned by Nekā Personīga.

Lembergs said during the 22 April conference: «He is now very cross with me because he is no longer in the Board of Riga Freeport. […] I understand his negative attitude towards me. What matters is that I do not think he should be in that post. It is far more important to decide on the allocation of a dozen million orders. I understand his interest in all this. But it is his private interest. It is not the Green Party’s interest. It is not UGF’s interest. It is the interest of a single private person to live ‘in the green’. Such is the way of things. And our opinions differ from one another in this regard. Regardless, he has already acquired a seat in Riga Freeport. He has a car, a hone and a very good wage. On top of that, as far as I know, he does very little of actual work there. But he is nonetheless paid a very good wage for his work. He has established a green foothold, and at the expense of the Green Party. But I don’t have to serve him to make his life even greener.»

When asked if it is true that Lembergs had, indeed, played a part in his work at the port and work in general, Silenieks replied: «It is not like I have a contract with him. I really don’t know. It may be possible, but I am not informed of it. It is impossible to say where this blessing was given.»

Silenieks said he has not breached any agreements with Lembergs not to announce candidates. He believes Lembergs has only expressed his personal opinion about Vejonis as a candidate. Silenieks said he is prepared to listen to any arguments Lembergs has to offer in person.

When asked if there is a possibility of the Green Party putting its candidate to a vote in the Saeima on its own, Silenieks said no. «We have established an agreement that we would speak together, and this is how things will be handled.»

When confronted with the claim that Vejonis has weak chances of becoming a candidate, seeing as how a head of one of the parties has open protests against him, Silenieks replied that this opinion is not unanimous. This is why talks will be held to weigh all arguments.

The only party part of UGF that has not yet proposed its own candidate is For Latvia and Ventspils. Lembers mentioned during his recent press-conference that the party has decided on four potential presidents. All of them have yet to provide an answer. According to Augusts Brimanis, Lembergs’ pary candidate may be Gundars Daudze.

Lembergs wishes to see a leader of a nation as president. Someone able to unite Latvians and Russians. He believes Vejonis lacks such skills. Neither does Vaira VIke-Freiberga, who, according to Lembergs, could only unite Latvians living in Canada and Latvia in hate toward Russians. Lembers would rather see someone like Maris Riekstins as President of Latvia.

Latvia’s representative in NATO Maris Riekstins said the following about Lembergs’ comment that the president should be someone who can represent the nation, including people that do not speak Latvian language: «It is clear that Latvia is the only place in the world where Latvians can develop their culture and language. We should be should be grateful that Latvians are one of 200 peoples that have the privilege of having their own country.»

He continues: «As for other people that live in Latvia due to different historic events, I believe they have a good opportunity to respect this country if they wish to develop their careers or raise children.»

When asked if he has the qualities of a man capable of representing his people, including people that do not speak his language, Riekstins gave no answer.

Next week, the Green Party plans to ask Lembergs to provide explanations as to why he refuses to support Vejonis.

Commenting on talks with Vejonis, head of the Green Party’s political council Ingmars Lidaka noted that it is complicated to discuss anything with Vejonis at this time, as the minister had only recently returned from his trip to Washington only to immediately depart for Afghanistan.

According to information from Nekā personīga programme, the greens are serious about Vejonis and the possibility of him becoming President of Latvia. Politicians from Unity and the National Union have spoken in favour of Vejonis as well. Along with the Green Party, these politicians form 46 votes in the Saeima. Vejonis himself refused to comment presidential elections. He did ask his colleagues to cooperate during the next congress.


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