bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 17.07.2018 | Name days: Aleksejs, Aleksis
LatviaLatvia

Harmony and UGF have their sponsors, whereas Sudraba’s party relies on donations

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUSince the beginning of the week, Latvia’s political parties have received more than half a million euros in donations and membership fees. According to the database of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, pockets fill up the fastest for political parties in power in the country and Riga.

Harmony has the most generous members. This year, however, the Union of Greens and Farmers has received the most generous donations, as concluded by De Facto programme of LTV.

Harmony’s sponsors are associated with Riga City Council, whereas UGF’s supporters are associated with its members and their subordinates, as reported by the programme.

«Membership fees helped Harmony become this year’s most generously supported political party, because the party received nearly EUR 90,000 in membership fees in Q1 2018 and nearly as much was paid in donations. Among the party’s largest sponsors are businessmen. However, the lion’s share came from existing or former Riga City Council deputies. The fact just how strong Harmony’s positions are in Riga is demonstrated by the list of members who pay membership fees. Several of Harmony’s youth-activists that have donated more than one thousand euros to the party work or undergo training in Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks,» as reported by De Facto.

The programme has compiled a list of the largest donators for Harmony: former Riga City Council deputy Nikolajs Zaharovs (EUR 19,000), Harmony board member Aivars Bergers (EUR 14,000) and former Riga City Council deputy and Riga International Car Park deputy council chairman Igors Ivanovs (EUR 4,990). Vadims Barannik, who is the head of Riga City Council’s Transport Committee, has also contributed much to Harmony (EUR 5,000). The same can be said for Jānis Urbanovičs (chairman of Harmony’s faction in the Saeima), who has donated EUR 2,000 to the party.

Urbanovičs about his party’s sponsors: «It would be surprising if people that have gained career perspectives through the party’s ranks one way or another ignored the party’s needs and refused to donate. […] It would be odd and humiliating to reach out to businessmen without pointing out that their own people do that.» When asked if what he said can be interpreted that people in Riga City Council’s structures were put there thanks to their contacts in the party, Urbanovičs said no. «No, the way it can be interpreted is that people enjoy trust, and because of that they are now in their posts. Their ties to the party were no obstacle for them to take those posts.»

UGF is not far behind Harmony revenue-wise. Among UGF’s sponsors are Saeima deputy Guntis Kalniņš (EUR 7,000), UGF chairman and Saeima deputy Armands Krauze (EUR 5,003), Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks (EUR 5,000), and UGF Saeima faction leader Augusts Brigmanis (EUR 3,000). Other supporters include Saeima deputy Andris Bērziņš (EUR 3,000) and Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (EUR 2,000), according to De Facto.

«If Harmony’s money largely comes from workers of Riga City Council’s structures, UGF’s funding comes from ministers, Saeima deputies, agriculture and finance ministry wage recipients, as well as members of Liepaja and other municipalities. Respectively – those are people whose future can be affected by UGF’s remainder in power. The presence of private sector representatives among donators remains relatively low,» De Facto reports.

One of UGF’s leaders, Saeima faction leader Augusts Brigmanis believes this is good: «Here’s the deal: every party member has a duty to turn to people and ask them to donate. Hard to say how people are doing with that. While there is no law for lobbying, it will remain hard to resolve this matter. Any businessman would be able to come up and ask something in return. And this is completely unacceptable, because we cannot put some people above others.»

Although Unity is third donation-wise, its treasury fills up more slowly than it did in the past. It has some major donators among businessmen. The party’s most generous members are paid wages in Brussels – European Parliament or European Commission. Unity’s most generous supporters include businessman and owner of SIA Uzvara-lauks Arnis Vējš (EUR 21,500), Economy Minister and Unity chairman Arvils Ašeradens (EUR 2,800), MEP Krišjānis Kariņš (EUR 2,500), Riga City Council deputy Vilnis Ķirsis (EUR 2,000).

Unity’s secretary general Artis Kampars is confident that this will not affect the party’s readiness to participate in elections, because Unity has formed an association with regional parties. The party will also get a new name: «Unity’s tradition is that we have a large number of members and they donate small amounts. The matter regarding donations is topical in the context of election campaign.»

The programme also emphasizes that For Latvia’s Development is only slightly behind Unity in terms of revenue. Although this party is not represented in the Saeima, it did gain nine seats in Riga City Council a year ago. The massive advertisement campaign may have played a role in this. The party’s most generous supporters are associated with Ventspils businessman Olafs Berķis.

For Latvia’s Development leader Juris Pūce denies the party is dependent on a narrow range of sponsors that dictate the party’s policy: «It is no surprise to learn that Olafs Berķis and his family members have donated money to support us. They have been publicly asked why they do that – they support our ideology, our positions and wish us the best, and donations is the way they do that. […] I cannot say if we have any major presence of any specific supporters. This just happened in the first quarter. But we still plan our resources – both income and expenses.»

The National Alliance is third behind Harmony and UGF rating-wise. As for donations, however, the party is far below the two. Among the party’s more well-known politicians is only Riga City Council member Baiba Broka, who has donated the only four-digit amount to the party this year – EUR 1,000.

Raivis Dzintars says party members will not have a duty to secure any specific donation amounts for this year’s elections: «No, I know there was a tradition for party members to pay some specific amount. This sounds akin to buying posts, and we are trying to get rid of this aspect. We will urge people to donate, because it is not advisable to remain undetected during elections. […] I believe the financial situation is not the only tool for elections. If you have a clear enough point to make and an idea who you work with, there is always a way to save funds.»

Recently formed parties do not receive many donations. This includes To Latvia from the Heart, which has suffered many failures recently – CPCB continues investigating possible violations in this party’s financing activities.


Leave a reply

Estonia sees no geopolitical change after U.S.-Russian summit in Helsinki

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser has commented cautiously that the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki is unlikely to bring fundamental change in the relations between the West, NATO military alliance and Russia.

airBaltic carried record large number of passengers in June

Latvia’s national airBaltic airline carried 1,876,839 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS countries and the Middle East in the first six months of 2018. This is 20% more when compared to the same period of last year, as BNN was told by the company.

Police to investigate possible MPC fraud at Tukums DH CHP plant

One of the largest CHP plants in Kurzeme – SIA Tukums DH – may have been squandering produced heating energy for a long time, which is a serious breach of mandatory procurement component governing rules, TV3 news reports.

Estonian holidaymakers die in Ukraine, media report

Three Estonian holidaymakers in Ukraine, have been found dead in a hotel in the Black Sea resort town of Odessa last weekend, Estonian media report without identifying the three young men.

Languages «a must-have». An interview with ex-president about political market methods and communist approach

There are two ways a political market is realized during closed presidential elections: one involves approval of candidates in exchange for votes, and the other – for money. If it’s the latter, it is best for no one to know how elections are performed. Harmony, which now stays quiet about open elections, has always been against this proposal, because it does not allow for creating a political market – sale of votes in exchange for influence, which has been done before...

Migration from Baltics, Eastern Europe to UK lowest in years

Migration to the UK from the Baltics and other member states of the European Union has been the lowest it has been for nearly four years in 2017, Britain's official statistics show.

Putin in Helsinki denies U.S. election meddling, Trump doesn't object

At the Russia-U.S. summit Helsinki, a key development has been differences in the attitude by U.S. federal officials to Russian interference in the American election process. Days after Washington charged 12 Russians with hacking the computer systems of U.S. officials, U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted the denial of Russian responsibility expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stock exchange indexes showing varied trends; oil prices decline

Stock exchange indexes in USA and Europe showed varied trends on Monday, 16 July. Bank profit rise was reported for Q2.

Rezekne Council deputies will not be penalized for releasing newspaper in Russian language

The court has lifted fines previously applied by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau on nine deputies of Rezekne City Council for releasing a newspaper produced by the council in Russian language in addition to Latvian.

Volume of imported petrol in Latvia down 2% in five months

The volume of motor fuel imported to Latvia in the first five months has declined 2% in comparison with the same period of 2017. The volume of diesel fuel has declined 14.9%.

Corruption watchdog ends case about Bi-2 concert in Riga

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau ended in May the case regarding possible misuse of administrative resources on pre-election promotion by Riga City Council in the form of a free Bi-2 concert in Lucavsala.

Thailand's rescued boys honour casualty of 17-day rescue operation

In Thailand, a 12 boys trapped in a cave have been rescued in a rescue operation that lasted for 17 days and ended with one casualty, a rescue diver.

Latvian political party Progresīvie to nominate women as candidate list leaders

Latvia political party Progresīvie has revealed its list of candidates for 13th Saeima elections. Five women have been stated as leaders of candidate lists.

Estonia earns 150 000 euros from military evaders annually

Estonian compulsory military service is evaded by about 1 000 young men each year, who have to pay fines that annually exceed the combined total of 150 000 euros.

Chairman: FCMC’s competence should end with termination of licenses if banks are liquidated

In the event of liquidation or insolvency, Finance and Capital Market Commission’s competence should end with revoking affected banks’ license and without the need to appoint an administrator, says FCMC chairman Pēters Putniņš.

Minister: Latvia may terminate MPC system in the next three years

In the next three years or so Latvia could completely terminate the mandatory procurement component system, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

In pictures: French victory in World Cup celebrated by tens of thousands in Paris

After the football World Cup was won by the French national team on Sunday, an enormous crowd of people gathered in central Paris to celebrate.

Another case of African swine fever infection recorded for domestic pigs in Latvia

African swine fever infection was recorded for domestic pigs in Tērvete on Monday, 16 July. 16 pigs were liquidated because of the infection, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service.

MEP Artis Pabriks becomes political party «Attīstībai/Par!» prime minister candidate

Latvian political party «Attīstībai/Par!» has picked Daniels Pavļuts, Juris Pūce, Ilze Viņķele, Artis Pabriks and Mārtiņš Bondars as its regional candidate list leaders. Artis Pabriks will also be the party’s prime minister candidate.

Russian-U.S. presidents meet in Helsinki

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting on Monday in Helsinki.

Heat of up to +30° C expected in Latvia this week

Weather in Latvia will be warm and even hot at times this week, as air temperature reaches up to +30° C. At night, air temperature is not expected to go below +20° C. Many regions will likely experience thunderstorms closer to the middle of the week, Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre reports.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania's Tripartite Council fails to reach agreement

Lithuania's Tripartite Council on Tuesday, July 10, failed to reach agreement on raising the minimum wage. Employers are inclined to back the government's proposal to raise the minimum pay to 420 euros. Meanwhile, trade unions want it increased to 450 euros.

BNN summary of the week: NATO to increase and ABLV Bank loses its license

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Deal; Fight; Decline; Decision; Opinion.

SEB Bank to unite life insurance companies working in Baltic States

SEB Bank will unite life insurance companies working in Baltic States, BNN was told by SEB Bank’s representative Agnese Strazda.

Saeima deputy Askolds Kļaviņš becomes suspect in criminal case

Saeima deputy from the Union of Greens and Farmers Askolds Kļaviņš has been made a suspect in the criminal case regarding abuse of official power.