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Saturday 22.09.2018 | Name days: Maigurs, Mārica, Māris

Bondars' requirements show a coup attempt, not reforms

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Martins Bondars, who was briefly considered a candidate of Reform Party (RP) for the post of Mayor of Riga and worth joining the party itself, presented RP with a request to immediately take over the management from its leader – ex-president Valdis Zatlers, as the information at Pietiek portal states.

Consequences of the allegedly prevented coup on January 7 will be shown in the coming months, if Bondars surfaces among the leaders of some other party.

On Monday evening, after exiting the RP bureau, Bondars announced that he will not be cooperating with the party, because it was not ready for radical change the way he was. RP seems to be the one who lost here: after suffering a popularity reduction, the party failed to attract a well known personality. Even in his Tuesday interview at Latvian Radio, Bondars continued to discuss RP’s unwillingness to change. RP representatives have yet to come forth with a follow-up to Bondars’ statements. This can be explained with the unwillingness to ruin the authority of Valdis Zatlers, Sandra Sondore-Kukule and Vyacheslav Dombrovskis. Some RP Board member told the portal about the possible “puppet masters” behind Bondars.

The now frozen RP’s Board meeting’s (hidden from most party members) to give Bondars the mandate of “manager of change”, giving him full authority over the party’s nation wide election campaign and development of amendments to the party’s statutes, would leave Zatlers with only formal or “honorary Chairman” status. Even though most Board representatives saw Bondars for the first time on the Monday meeting, the decision was already secured.

According to the portal’s electronic correspondence, Bondars also requested personal rights to perform radical steps that would affect ministers, the faction and the government, without having to consult with Zatlers, the party’s Board or Saeima faction. It is stated in the correspondence that Bondars demanded a personal mandate to be able to request the demission of any RP minister at any time.

Several hours after the evening meeting, Bondars refused to give any detailed information as to which points about his collaboration with RP were not secured, as well as why he decided not to cooperate with the party. “I do not want to wash dirty laundry,” – he said, commenting the recent information he received about the party’s internal status. He admitted that he is not satisfied with Edmunds Sprudzs’ public statements in relation to the recent “bear scandal”. Bondars said he was prepared to call the ministers demission if the party had agreed to give him such rights.

Bondars’ Sunday’s requirements and criticism against Sprudzs had created a wave of suspicion within RP about the possible hand of a certain Ventspils resident. The threatening of Sprudzs’ position was the sole reason why RP became more careful about completing Bondars’ further requirements, said the party’s leading politicians. After the whole event, RP admitted that it failed to properly assess the risks related to Bondars’ associates outside of the party, including wealthy businessmen that could have their own plans about the party.

The situation, when a stranger is attracted to a wide circle of individuals, a stranger many RP officials saw for the first time and who was automatically promised the honour of being the leader of the party, is a chain of consequences for the unwillingness of RP ministers to take up the role of leaders, ministers like Edgars Rinkevics and Daniels Pavluts. It seems as though RP ministers that took office rapidly, using the party’s sudden rise to power, take their positions for granted, even though the more experienced politicians admit that it is only possible to keep positions and achieve results only if there is a strong party backing everything.

It was Pavluts’ and Vyacheslav Dombrovskis’ refusal to candidate for the post of Mayor of Riga that led the party to the necessity to look for candidates on the outside, which led to Bondars.


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