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Tuesday 16.10.2018 | Name days: Daiga, Dinija
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Opinion: were all Latvian presidents picked as part of schemes? Is it best to stay quiet?

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The wave of criticism addressed to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis in regards to his ability, or rather inability, to represent his country’s interests once again pushes towards the question regarding the president’s election order. Can a president elected through a closed vote by the Saeima truly represent Latvia and its residents’ interests if the existing election mechanism allows for dishonest and manipulative use of votes? Unfortunately, we have seen several cases that proved we cannot trust this system,» says member of Latvian Association of Regions Juris Viļums.

Because of that, Latvia’s leading hybrid of political machinations – Union of Greens and Farmers, Unity and Harmony – are responsible for this latest failure by the president, because they had supported this president, the politician continues.

«We can extend our ‘thanks’ to all those 55 Saeima deputies, including Harmony members and deputies from other parties, who voted for him. And traditionally all presidents elected by the majority in the Saeima are the kind who present endless amounts of embarrassment for us. Those people fail to organize the work of their teams and really pay attention to their duties, to say nothing of their responsibility, skills and professional team management,» says Viļums.

He claims that ever since Latvia restored its independence all the presidents have been elected through schemes, without society’s involvement. «Arguments in favour of and election process were comical for nearly all candidates. There were no official selection criteria for the qualities the country’s president should have, because our political elite picks first and then tries to sell a convenient compromise candidate to society. Guntis Ulmanis benefited from his surname, Vaira Vike-Freiberga was a surprise from overseas, Valdis Zatlers’ election was not even remotely affected by ‘zoo talks’, Andris Bērziņš left only memories regarding questionably acquired EU funds, as well as poor communication with media and Valdis Dombrovskis’ resignation after the tragedy in Zolitude,» Viļums continues.

LAR deputy adds: «If the president does not give an oath or if there are conditions that prevent him from performing duties, then how morally ethical is it to remain in post as a decorative element – without an official position, spine and right to speak? It is not worth asking for a report regarding the president’s oath, because melting regions and the highest income inequality in Europe are already the results of the president’s action, inaction and counter-action.»

Viļums believes the story is not merely about language skill but also the president’s conscience, will and ability to represent his country. In the president’s case, duties of representing of the country also include handling state security matters. «Latvia needs a president who would represent the country in a way that would make us proud,» says LAR deputy.

«It is sad to see us miss a great opportunity to reach out and present Latvia to an international audience as a small country full of proud and hard-working people. Latvia is a country that has many talented people – artists, athletes, inventors, doctors and scientists,» continues Viļums.

The deputy also says: «It is sad to see that the best foreign media can do is not show at all or skirt around the issue about Latvia’s president and his activities».


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  1. Zerry says:

    Saeima includes a plenty of ”own pockets first” -persons. They just do not want a president to be a strong person who have backbone to stand for the people of country and not watching elsewhere while politicians are defending own financial benefits. This is why Saeima always wants to choose a silent nobody as a president. Dombrovskis did a good work but unfortunately disappeared after Zollitude case. What comes to present prime minister it’s difficult to say if he is a puppet of stronger forces or just want to go on smoothly without acting as a leader.

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