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Sunday 20.08.2017 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss

There may be new political parties in Latvia; Repse's chances go down

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEven though there is only one newly founded political party that has officially announced its formation – ex-prime minister Einars Repse’s For Latvia’s Development – there are still multiple groups that could have similar goals in Latvia. On top of that, there have recently been conflicts within Repse’s party.

There are at least two more groups similar to that of Repse’s. One has former state auditor Inguna Sudraba, the other – the president of Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojārs Spārītis and former grey cardinal of Latvijas Ceļš, ex-minister Druvis Skulte and millionaire Atis Sausnitis, Pietiek reports.

Recently, Unity has been very concerned about mayors of multiple large Latvian cities gathering with Inguna Sudraba. Given the fact that Repse’s party has low ratings and low potential, Sudraba is considered the only potential candidate who could ruin the plans of the current political parties.

Sudraba, who had previously declined Repse’s offer to be his party’s first candidate in the European Parliament election list, did not deny in her interview to the portal that she has recently met with municipal leaders. However, she did not want there to be any long-lasting conclusions in this regard.

The possibility of there being a party of “Sudraba and regions” has made Unity rather nervous. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’ party had previously tried to ally itself with regional leaders. This attempt had failed. It is known that his party had used the argument that it is able to influence which regional projects can expect to receive state funding. It is because of concerns over government using intimidation against those who might rebel that speculations about new parties forming right before elections have been growing rather fast recently.

Another group has been forming around Latvian Academy of Sciences President Ojārs Spārītis. This newly-formed group may also call for the leader of Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG) Andris Jaunsleinis. The actual masterminds behind this idea could be once the “grey cardinal” of Latvijas Ceļš Druvis Skulte and millionaire Atis Saunitis. Spārītis and Jaunsleinis are tied to Union of Greens and Farmers. A couple of weeks ago, Augusts Brigmanis had told Pietiek that he is well informed about the capacity of every potential party and he has no reason to be concerned about any developments.

Unity had also tried influencing Repse’s association using power resources. Unity’s shadowy hand is also noted in the governance of actions of law enforcement institutions. Pietiek is aware that members of Repse’s party have been called to come to Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to give explanations in regard to the future funding of this party.

Other instruments are also being used to discourage people from joining this possible political “locomotive”. For example, Repse’s party’s candidate for European Parliament elections, Latvia’s ambassador to NATO Maris Riekstins has been offered to become Foreign Minister after the next Saeima elections. Riekstins, who still has one year left as ambassador, did not provide comments on this. The real reason for the fall in ratings of Repse’s party is due to its expensive and massive social relations campaign – there are arguments and conflicts among the party’s sponsors and organisers regarding the party’s goals and methods.


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