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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta

Riga Mayoral candidate: Baiba Broka – says one thing, but does the opposite

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Baiba Broka

As though a gentleman, the Latvian National Alliance (All For Latvia!” – “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK) has given the first place in its list of Riga mayoral candidates to a lady – Baiba Broka.

She is widely known in Latvia for her commitment to the idea of nationalism: something that is formulated in short as “Latvia – for Latvians”. At the same time, she demonstrates tolerance toward other cultures and languages, noting, however, that her priority is creating a comfortable environment for native people; others are expected to adapt accordingly. “There are political parties and politicians in Latvia that blindly look to Brussels and those that professionally look to Moscow”, – she said during a congress of the National Alliance. According to her, the policy of looking up to others for assistance has many downsides, because it makes society apathetic. As a candidate for the post of Mayor of Riga, she offers the same idea and promises to turn the capital into an international centre for Latvians. Among other points of her pre-election campaign are: making Riga the main business lobby in relations with the government, parliament and international partners; reduce utility payments and turn the city into a comfortable place to live in for families with children. Mrs Broka especially mentions that as a mother of two sons, she knows very well what problems families face in Riga.

Promises given by the National Alliance’s representative are honest and right at the core and beautiful in form. But it is not too clear as to how her vision of a strong Latvian society would coordinate with the fact that while being a state official in 2006, she was providing judicial consultations to Arab owners of Kemeri sanatorium – the Ominasis Company. In her annual official’s declaration, Broka stated that she was paid $1 000 by Ominasis for her services in October 2006. One year prior to that, she was not only an invited guest, but was also part of the company’s personnel as a financial and legal consultant.

Kemeri – this once a widely popular sanatorium in the USSR – can be proudly considered Latvia’s national heritage. The decision to privatize this sanatorium was signed in 1996, when Broka’s associate was heading the national privatization – then the Economy Minister Guntars Krasts. It is possible that, if the members of the National Alliance were truly worried about the country, the fate of Kemeri would not be so tragic – in spite of promises of the Arab investors, the sanatorium was never fully restored.

Broka is not too shunned by her work as the member of the Board of Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme. According to the annual official’s declaration for 2011, the salary of Baiba Broka in this post was more than 29.5 thousand LVL. As a comparison: teaching at the University of Latvia brought her 9.18 thousand LVL; her post at the Justice Ministry – 6.8 thousand LVL. She was also on a business trip to New York this year as a representative of LGS. According to Mrs Broka, she had met with partners from Dors International in America. She had also participated in the annual Conference of the International Air Transport Association. It is unknown how much this trip cost the budget, because neither Broka nor the company reported expenses. It is estimated that the two-day trip may have cost several thousand LVL. It is also unknown as to just how productive this trip was for the company; given that Broka is not a specialist in the matters discussed during the conference.

It is also worth mentioning that the leader of the National alliance’s list of mayoral candidates currently has no real estate property of her own. According to the declaration for 2011, she lives in an apartment in Riga that belongs to Vestabalt real estate agency. Her official’s declaration for 2006 mentions a house in Engure Parish and two apartments in Riga: one owned personally and the other was being rented. Varis Strazdins was mentioned as the owner of the latter. Unless he is somehow related to him, Broka has been renting an apartment from the President of the Latvian Sports Federation for deaf people.


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