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Sunday 11.12.2016 | Name days: Valdis, Voldemārs, Valdemārs
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Opinion: «UGF’s appendix» Lembergs is becoming troublesome for the party

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis week marks five years since President Valdis Zatlers historic Order Nr. 2 On the Dismissal of the Saeima. The era after oligarchs – this is one way this period of time for Latvia’s politics can be described. For Andris Skele and Ainars Slesers, two veterans of political business, Zatlers order came as the final nail to hit in the coffin of their political careers, writes Ir journalist Aivars Ozolins.

«Only Lembergs remains,» – Zatlers mentioned in his last year’s published memoirs. Lembergs does seem younger, more vibrant and nervously more awake. He also continues poisoning the political environment. Nevertheless, his influence continues to wither, TVNET cites Ozolins’ writing.

«Ventspils owner’s bred green farmers now wish to at least look like independent decision-makers, and, as described by Zatlers, ‘UGF’s appendix’, as the doctor describes the old political conductor, is becoming problematic for the party’. Truly when UGF members try to provide excuses, they point to Prime Minister Maris Kuckinskis, adding that he is not one of Lembergs’ goons!

It may seem paradoxical, but the currently UGF-dominated government, which can be considered proof of the return of Latvia’s last oligarch, could mean the end to not only Lembergs personal influence, but also the end for oligarchy as a management form in Latvia. With the post of Prime Minister of Latvia, green farmers have also acquired control over everything that goes on in the country – exactly what Skele’s and Slesers’ parties failed to accomplish. It is paradoxical but Zatlers may be true in the fact that Lembergs may have dug the grave for oligarchy, the point of which is power without responsibility,» – Ozolins writes.

He continues: «Having outwitted his political backstage partner, Unity leader Solvita Aboltina,and having basically destroyed Unity with her help, Lembergs has lost his so very valuable Straujuma’s government, during the reign of which not a single decision was made without his express permission. In addition, during this government’s rule, UGF was feeling largely on the side lines.

Zatlers mentioned in his interview to Ir magazine that this may be a very positive turning point. Because two and a half years before the next Saeima elections the, government has to show something. Lembers will never again become UGF’s prime minister candidate, Zatlers concluded, because who is Kucinskis then?» – Ozolins continues.

As it is known, 94% of Latvia’s population voted in favor of dismissing the Saeima on 23 July 2011. Neither Slesers nor Skele managed to enter the Saeima on the next elections. UGF, on the other hand, ended up outside the government coalition.

[…] «Unity’s leader Aboltina, however, is in no hurry to leave. Zatlers’ order had saved her party from Lembergs’ friendly stranglehold at the time. This January she once again mentioned that the Saeima’s dismissal five years ago had created large hopes for the people at first. Unfortunately, she said, what followed was a big disappointment. She will soon be finished as well: Aboltina will either carry out a political suicide or carry out orders to destroy her own party, Zatlers mentioned.

Oligarchs have not gone without a trace. Consequences left from Slesers had reminded Latvia about themselves again last year, when the state was forced to buy back ariBaltic shares and invest EUR 80 million into the airline. We are reminded of Skele’s name when we turn on electricity and start paying for his ‘masterpiece’, as Zatlers described in his book the mandatory electricity procurement component. But the criminally accused Lembergs still sends ripples around by casting a shadow over the government’s decisions. And the Ventspils bacteria has entered Riga, the city council of which is currently dominated by ‘complete legal cynicism’, as Zatlers said. The next Saeima can observe a desert that is ruled by winds of populism.

I doubt that there are many people who long for the days when everything in Latvia was being done in accordance with the iron will of the 3A Format. According to Zatlers, politics can no longer be settled among multiple individuals. His order five years ago had put a stop to the times when certain individuals tried to accomplish just that. It helped give back Latvia its democratic future, in spite of Lembergs’ and other individuals’ protests against it,» – Ozolins concluded.

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