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Latvian Green Party excluded from European Green Party

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Edgars Tavars

Latvian Green Party (LZS) has been excluded from the European Green Party (EGP). However, such a decision did not come as a surprise to members of the party, because the idea of leaving had been discussed among members in the past, as reported by LZS chairman Edgars Tavars.

He has confirmed that his party has been excluded from the European Green Party. Nevertheless, he added that the idea for the departure from the party had been discussed within the party in the past, because «it became harder and harder to associate our party with so-called modern European greens».

«This was proven as much by the most recent congress, in which we were publicly criticized for our negative views on same-sex marriage, our lack of support for Russian minorities’ rights for state-funded education in Russian language, as well as our defence of patriotism and not global views,» said Tavars, adding that in the past several years EGP has been dominated not by green believes but by aggressive neo-liberalism.

Read also: Latvia’s largest opposition party Harmony changes leadership

According to him, LZP has always believed and continues to believe greens around the world should unite under a single vision for environmental protection and not divide green-minded people based on other beliefs.

«The green idea has nothing in common with the pre-condition for being sexually, ethnically, economically left-wing, modern or correct. Our flag is green-white-green, not rainbow-coloured or red,» said Tavars.

As previously reported, delegates of the European Green Party gathered for a congress last week in Tampere, Finland. Among the topics on the agenda was also the matter on revoking LZP’s status as fully-fledged member.

LZP is accused of political activities that are opposed to green values and EGP charter, non-compliance with democratic principles within the party and ‘chronic’ lack of interest in activities of EGP in the form of non-payment and delays with payment of membership fees, as well as missing EGP congresses and refusal to communicate with EGP representatives.

Among LZP’s political «sins» is Tavars’ voiced support for US republicans and US President Donald Trump.

LZP voted in the Saeima against the so-called Cohabitation Law, homophobic statements against so-called pride from LZP Riga office head, support for education only in Latvian language and the fact that once the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis had signed the law for the transition to education in Latvian language, turning against European Commission’s proposed refugee quotas for EU member states, as well as Saeima’s vote against the so-called Istanbul Convention.

As for breach of democratic principles within LZP, the party is criticized for not maintaining gender equality within the party and members’ posts.

Meanwhile, Tavars considers criticisms «falsely interpreted and taken out of context».


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