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Friday 22.03.2019 | Name days: Tamāra, Dziedra
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Bordāns: Lembergs doesn’t want the government; he wants to rule the country

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The Union of Greens and Farmers has finally understood that by putting the criminally accused Aivars Lembergs as their prime minister candidate has weakened their position. The decision to not propose Lembergs as a candidate was likely made not by Augusts Brigmanis, but Lembergs himself, because he knows there is no way for him to become prime minister. No, it would be too embarrassing for someone like him to become a candidate and not win. The person to take this post should be transparent and open, because the post is a public one. Lembergs doesn’t want to lead the government; he wants to rule the country from his home in Puze County,» says chairman of the New Conservative Party and its prime minister candidate Jānis Bordāns.

«Latvia – a dark pretend country with money launderers and schemers»

Why is a person who is accused of serious crimes allowed to become a candidate for the prime minister’s post? Lembergs’ criminal case is made up of 260 pages and 200 volumes. He is accused of bribery, money laundering, abuse of power and other crimes. This case has been continuing for eleven years.

Bordāns says: «You see, Latvia’s legislation allows that. We have parties that believe the law can be complied with only formally. These include Union of Greens and Farmers, Harmony and Honour to Serve Riga. To them, it seems, there is only the Criminal Law. If the Criminal Law does not prohibit something, they are allowed to do it. Politically speaking and looking and western European traditions – a person with a bad reputation should not be allowed to become a candidate for such a high post. This is about reputation and a person who stands accused of committing serious crimes.»

NCP chairman believes Māris Kučinskis will not be reelected as prime minister. It should be said that rumours has been circulating about him dancing to Lembergs’ tune. The question is: why doesn’t Lembergs use his influence to make sure Kučinskis is reelected?

«You see, the fact that Lembergs picked Kučinskis for the post of prime minister is the reason why people won’t vote for this party. We can see clearly what is currently happening with the country Lembergs was in charge of. We have also seen what happens to a country if it has a poor leader. The latest proof of this is when Latvia’s president travelled to USA, participate in high-level debates, speak in front of the entire world, and fail so spectacularly,» Bordāns told BNN.

He believes the prime minister, the country’s president, as well as the speaker of the parliament and chairman of the Supreme Court of Justice should be excellent speakers. «Today it feels as though all of Latvia’s leaders are actively creating the wrong impression about Latvia. It should be said that news agencies have also described Latvia as a dark pretend country where money launderers and schemers sit in power. The country is described as associated with Russian crime. And the country’s highest ranking officials are to blame for it,» said Bordāns.

«It is important for Lembergs to survive in a legal aspect»

Bordāns believes Lembergs’ influence over Latvia’s ministers only worsens his public image in the country and outside it. «His influence extends over ministers from UGF and ones from other parties. Party leaders have less influence over their own ministers. I won’t mention any names, but it should be said that it is highly important for Lembergs to survive in a legal aspect. Latvia’s legislative sector most likely has politicians that were appointed there with Lembergs’ approval.»

The chairman of NCP mentions that in the time when he was Latvia’s Justice Minister and had only started making decisions that could have impacted Lembergs in some way, it became clear he would soon lose his post. «When it became clear I would not dance to his time and would instead support the legislative draft proposed by then the Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprūdžs that would make it impossible for a person held suspect of committing some crime to lead municipal administrations. I told this to the National Alliance and was met with opposition. At that moment it became clear to me that sooner or later I would be removed my post. This is why I think all the people who remained in their posts in the justice sector for a long time were likely supporter or tolerated by Lembergs.»

When asked by BNN if there had been any attempts by Lembergs to influence him when he was justice minister, Bordāns said: «No, unlike people such as Aleksejs Loskutors or others, I have never travelled to Ventspils to report on my work. I have never spoken with people associated with him.»

«Reforms by Kučinskis – to suck out as much money from already struggling small and medium-sized companies as possible»

In regards to economic growth, Bordāns says that it is not a success of Kučinskis’ government. «It is currently possible to attract considerable finances from European structural funds. Those people know well that now is the time when it is possible to attract money to the country. According to them, although this money does not belong to us, it can be taken freely and put through different projects. This way leads to a ’pedal to the metal’ policy, which is something we had experienced in 2005, 2006 and 2007. They are fully aware the budget will have to be mended after them and the country will have to be pulled from another crisis. But today we have high economic development indexes and large money turnover to show.»

Several changes were made to the monetary and fiscal policy during the term of Kučinskis’ government. This means reforms have been carried out in the country. «However, this happened only because they wanted to suck as much money from already struggling companies as possible. This also applies to employees. In the end we will see the situation reflected in income declarations. The entire administrative burden has been put on the shoulders of businessmen, who now have to deal with increasingly complicated accounting rules,» Bordāns comments.

«Communists will not be allowed to work in state administration»

Bordāns says political surveys are being performed about upcoming Saeima elections. Results show that UGF is unlikely to enter the coalition. «Some people will vote by instinct. The ones who feed off the state budget and those who believe that only with UGF and Lembergs at the helm will they be given access to the budget.» Bordāns adds that most people will understand the mindset of this political power.

«One fact – Europe is on the move. People understand that economies are stagnant. People see what needs changing. Because of that, there are now many different national movements. Some call them populist, others call them anarchists. The desire for freedom is on a rise in people’s minds – the desire to make their own fate and stop living by Soviet standards. The same people who were in power in 1985 remain in power new – Aivars Lembergs, Andris Ameriks and others, so there is still a feeling that we’re living in post-Soviet era Latvia.»

Bordāns believes Harmony is still influenced and managed by Alfrēds Rubiks. «His socialist party is Harmony’s core. They are the ones who dictate its policy. Latvians have to tear away from this cycle. Russian voters are ruled by Harmony, Honour to Serve Riga and Ameriks, whereas Latvian voters have Lembergs and Brigmanis at the helm; both were once high-ranking secretaries of the Soviet Party. NCP has made it clear that if we come to power, Communists will not be allowed to serve in state administration.»

As for why Lembergs’ influence over Latvia is so large, Bordāns believes the oligarch from Ventspils is not the only figure responsible for state capture. «It has been mutually beneficial for several individuals involved in money laundering and other illegal activities to stick together all this time.»

When BNN asked him if there are any suspects for whom it was beneficial to work with Lembergs, the chairman of NCP mentioned that this ‘system’ includes people like Māris Martinsons and Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. He also mentioned that recent activities performed by Harmony in Riga City Council aligned with Lembergs’ interests. This includes activities at different ports and the situation with Rīgas Satiksme. «A very wide range of people find state capture an attractive idea. NCP is fully aware of the kind of opposition we will have to face,» said the deputy.

«Indifference is what is killing us – our future in Latvia»

According to Bordāns, Latvia’s judicial system is in a dire need of personnel policy. «If NCP enters the justice sector, we will continue what was started in 2012/2013. Our goal is not only proposing knowledgeable lawyers, but also picking ones with spotless reputation and putting them in court chairperson posts. Judges have to comply with the highest professional ethics standards. Only this can help change the situation in courts of justice.»

In regards to one of the court sessions reviewing Lembergs’ case, during which the judge took a short nap, Bordāns comments: «Members of Riga City Council also shamelessly nap during meetings. This paints a general picture of the situation in our country. The entirety of Latvia is as though half asleep – the old stagnant people are no longer able to work. They tire out easily. Another thing – a person falls asleep because he is bored, when he becomes indifferent for what is happening in the country. This indifference is what is killing us – our future in Latvia.»

When asked about Latvia’s current justice and interior affairs ministers, Bordāns said neither Dzintars Rasnačs nor Rihards Kozlovskis have proven themselves much over the years. He expects them to lose their posts after the next elections. «They failed to come up with progressive ideas,» he said. According to Bordāns, Kozlovskis is not the one in charge of Latvia’s Interior Affairs Ministry, the ministry’s state secretary Ilze Pētersone-Godmane is.

As for political responsibility in Latvia, he said: «It has to exist. Voters in Latvia are clever; they have punished politically irresponsible people multiple times in the past. People are just tired of punishing irresponsible politicians and not getting better ones to replace them.»

Bordāns believes it is irresponsible for people who are materially and intellectually capable of working in politics and able to make Latvia better decide to remain in their comfort zone and do nothing. «These people have a choice of joining political parties and making Latvia better!»


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