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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Mayoral candidate: Sarmite Elerte - ex-integration advisor who doesn't know how to integrate

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Sarmite Elerte

Sarmite Elerte

Unity’s decision to choose former Diena editor Sarmite Elerte as their Riga mayoral candidate surprised many voters.

Elerte was once the Culture Minister under Valdis Dombrovskis’ second government. She later became the PM’s freelance advisor to national identity, civil society and integration. However, Elerte has not been to successful with the process of integration lately. She will be competing with Nil Ushakov (Harmony Centre) for the post of Mayor of Riga.

Unity’s representative seems to have chosen the easiest method to gain votes – threatening with enemies and division into the good and the bad. It seems more likely that Elerte does neither fully comprehend nor wants to comprehend the needs of simple Riga residents. This also includes her own interest in receiving the treat – post of Chairman of Riga City Council. Her promises to introduce transparency into Riga’s finances did not go hand in hand with Unity’s interests. Especially Unity’s interests to keep Prudentia as its personal financial consultant in such state important matters like airBaltic, Parex bank and the current Liepājas metalurgs crisis.

Elerte’s managing skill are shown by her work at Diena newspaper. Something the people like to refer as – built herself and ran into the ground herself. Elerte did not suffer financially from it – the shares of Diena, once privatized for a few thousand LVL, were sold for 650 818 LVL to the Swedish Tidning AB Marieberg in 2008.

The sale of the shares was not the only time Elerte managed to successfully calculate maximum profits. As a freelance advisor to the PM, she managed to extract approximately 1 000 LVL from tax payers as her monthly wage. On top of that, she was not too ashamed of stating in her reports that she was re-reading the same paper over and over for two consecutive weeks.

It should also be added that Elerte would not be poor even without the aforementioned 1 000 LVL per month.

According to her last year’s submitted declaration, she owns two apartments in Riga, a piece of land in Virbu parish and property in Jurmala. The politician also owns a 2010 year Audi. Her savings in different banks reach 40 000 LVL; deposits in securities in Citadele Asset Management – 513 403 LVL. She also has debts – over 35 000 LVL.

One can only wonder about Unity’s choice of candidate, especially given the party’s own ratings. According to survey results of Latvijas fakti, 22.5% of Riga residents were prepared to vote for this party last year.


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  1. Juris says:

    Such a loaded article. The author must be someone who really doesn’t like Elerte, probably someone who she fired.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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