bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis
LatviaLatvia

Politicians’ election tricks: tailoring and hosting programmes

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe pre-election period will start in Latvia in two weeks from now. During this period, parties will have to compile all revenue and expenditures associated with 13th Saeima elections. But even before this period several parties have commenced their campaigns on radio, television, as well as in residents’ mailboxes.

LTV programme De Facto, has concluded that politicians try getting voters’ attention using different methods. This includes different regional visits reported by local media, as well as participating in different TV programmes as hosts or experts, as reported by De Facto.

Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs will be taking part in this year’s elections as the leader of candidate list the Union of Greens and Farmers in Latgale. Since the beginning of March he has been holding monthly visits to Latgale’s election region. He has met with farmers, has visited the future logistics centre and milk cooperative. He has also planted an oak tree there, and has even tried himself as a tailor. On 4 May, Dūklavs attended the festive service at Roman Catholic Church in Balva, De Facto reports.

The programme also reports that Dūklavs had experienced considerable results during his last week’s visit to Latgale. Daugavpils regional television Dautkom and its associated Grani.lv portal had dedicated at least four reports to the minister’s visit. Dūklavs travelled to Daugavpils again on 25 May – to participate in a discussion at the opening event of the resort season in Silene.

Dūklavs denies having coordinated his schedule to fit elections: «I travel to other places as well. I will soon visit Tērvete and Alūksne. I visit all places I get invited to by farmers. I participate in everything regardless of elections. As elections come closer, I have plans to visit Latgale as well.»

When asked if it has started yet, Dūklavs said: «Nothing has started yet. For me. Some media seem rather fixated on me. With that, I believe it has started for the media.»

Regional visits are a tradition for politicians during pre-election period. It is a less common practice for politicians to become TV and radio hosts, as well as regular participants. This is a long-term project for some. For example – the head of For Latvia’s Development party Juris Pūce has been a host for Radio SWH programme «Pūce skaita līdzi» for several years. The party’s board member Edgars Jaunups is a regular participant of Riga TV24 programme’s political discussion programme «Kur tas suns aprakts», as confirmed by De Facto.

Both parties are forming a union with «Kustība Par!» political party, whose board member Mārtiņš Staķis gained his initial recognition as the host of LTV religion and ethics programme «Saknes debesīs». Staķis appears there every now and there. This won’t continue for long, however. Once he is done filming the last two episodes, he will leave the programme. He explains: «I believe it would be fair towards the viewers and voters if I picked to stay either in politics or television. Although the two things can be combined, I believe it would be best for the programme if I made a decision with its interest in mind. […] Honestly, I am a little sad about all this. No one forced me to leave, but I had to make this decision nonetheless.»

Mayor of Valka and leader of Vidzeme party Vents Armands Krauklis, who is uncertain whether he should participate in Saeima as a member of Latvia’s Association of Regions elections or not, has no plans to cease being the chief conductor of Re:TV music programme «Vilciens Rīga-Valka». «I may be a good thing to do for a person who is unknown, but I’ve been publicly well-known for twenty years, since Bumerangs. It gives me no pros or cons – hosting a programme. But the law is there for us to follow. If I do become a candidate, I will no longer host the show,» promises Krauklis.

Unity Saeima faction leader and doctor Hosams Abu Meri shows up as a guest in a programme of LNT dedicated to medicine every Sunday. Abu Meri explains that less than 12 planned stories will be told in the end, because he decided to discontinue his participation after his party colleagues recommended this. He explains that neither he paid the programme nor the programme paid him for episodes.

One episode was made featuring some private clinic. Doctors were interviewed and the programme aired with a reference to teleshopping.

Abu Meri told De Facto that he was not aware of this: «I hadn’t noticed this. This is not good, not good in this case. […] I did not ask where they got the money for the programme, who their sponsor is and what they advertise. I just did my job – interviewed people for 5-6 minutes. That is all.»

The programme also notes that the head of the National Alliance Raivis Dzintars gained some free publicity at the end of last year. Rīgas Apriņķa Avīze, whose owners include the family of the now former secretary general of NA Aigars Lūšs, and one of the journalists of which incude Dzintars’ wife, released a paper in 85,000 copies free of charge. This particular newspaper included a central interview with Dzintars.

«Well, as far as I’m aware, I’ve seen no signals of self-promotion there. I know there are at least several copies planned. On my own, I am happy to have reached out to a large audience, reporting on my work and telling everyone about my values,» says Dzintars.

Jūlija Stepaņenko – a member of Honour to Serve Riga – has a weekly opportunity to reach out to a large number of residents. Every Monday she appears on Eiropas Hitu Radio and tells listeners about her work in the parliament. She claims that she pays nothing for the time on air. She did not provide a clear answer as to whose idea it was for her to appear on air: «I am a notable deputy, because I work actively and report my initiatives. With that, my activities catch people’s attention. Even you are promoting me with this interview.»

One of the radio station’s owners is member of Latvian Green Party and active contributor Ričards Zakss. Regular shows of the radio station had previously featured politicians associated with UGF: Guntis Belēvičs, Aivars Lembergs, and Uldis Augulis.

De Facto reminds that 9 June will mark the beginning of the pre-election period. During this time, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau will carefully study political parties’ expenditures and political promotion campaigns.


Leave a reply

Latvian police points towards stagnation in road traffic safety

So far this year 91 people have died in road traffic accidents in Latvia. According to State Police Road Traffic Safety Office Chief Normunds Krapsis, stagnation is present for road traffic safety.

Latvian government to attract EUR 29.5 million to restore Latgale’s degraded territories

On Tuesday, 18 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the action plan for Latgale region’s economic growth 2018-2021, which provides for attracting of EUR 29.5 million to help restore the region’s degraded territories.

China announces retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, seeks free trade support

Beijing has stated it would impose a duty tariff increase on American imports worth 60 billion U.S. dollars in a reaction to Washington's announcement to add tariffs on imports from China worth 200 billion U.S. dollars.

Montenegro to join NATO battalion stationed in Latvia

According to NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe James Everard, Montenegro plans to join the multi-national battalion currently stationed in Latvia.

U.S. looking seriously at Poland's request for American base on its soil

U.S President Donald Trump has noted the country was looking seriously at a request from Poland for a permanent U.S. military base in the fellow NATO member state and agreed that Polish concerns about possible Russian aggression were shared.

Russian plane near Syria shot down by ally targeting Israeli planes

The Russian military plane, which went missing on Monday, has been shot down by its ally Syria targeting Israel's war planes and the number of servicemen lost in the event has been corrected from 14 to 15, the Russian government stated.

Latvian border guards find more than 140 kg of hashish in a car

On 16 September, Latvian State Border Guard detained a 1991-born man and his car at Grebnev border checkpoint. A secret compartment containing 145.3 kg of narcotic substances was found in his car during a routine inspection, as reported by State Border Guard.

EU suspects German car-makers of colluding against cleaner technology

EU competition watchdogs are probing if German automotive giants have colluded to restrict the development of clean emission technology.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 7.8 thousand in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 there were 24.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 7.8 thousand vacancies or 46.6 % more than in Q2 2017. In public sector there were 7.2 thousand and in private sector 17.3 thousand job vacancies.

Latvian government desperate to resolve the growing piles of used tires problem

Latvian government has supported Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s prepared report ‘On maintenance of used tires’. This report includes proposals for measures to help resolve the matter regarding speeding up recycling and regeneration rates, as well as the no less important matter of maintenance of used tires.

Cargo volumes handled by Latvian ports remain stable in first half-year of 2018

Latvian ports transshipped 43.468 million tonnes of cargoes in the first eight months of 2018, which is 0.9% more than in the same period of last year. According to data from Transport Ministry, cargo turnover’s negative balance continues declining at Ventspils port, where 13.274 million tonnes of cargoes were transshipped in the first eight months, which is a drop of 11.9%.

airBaltic carried 18% more passengers in summer

Latvian airline airBaltic has carried 2,770,047 more passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East in the first eight months of 2018, BNN was told by the company.

Ukrainian workers in Lithuania gradually fill gap left by Lithuanian exodus

Companies in Lithuania, in particular operating in construction, logistics and retail chains, are increasingly inviting workers from Ukraine and Belarus to fill the worker shortage of Lithuanians moving to richer countries.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 47.14 million recovered in August

Assets worth EUR 47.13 million were recovered from the liquidated ABLV Bank in August, which is 2.2 times more than a month prior, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Estonia bank watchdog points to Denmark's responsibility over Danske

As to the allegations of doubtful billions flowing via the Estonia branch of Danske Bank, the Estonian watchdog of financial institutions has noted that the Danish supervisory authority was responsible for the lender's risk control.

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

On Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

Sixteen contenders apply for Rundale Castle Museum director’s post

A total of sixteen contenders have applied for participation in Latvian Culture Ministry’s announced open personnel selection process to find the next director of Rundale Castle Museum.

Russia: Military plane with 14 Russian soldiers has been lost near Syria

A Russian war plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared while over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Syria, Russia's Defence Ministry has stated.

Unity decides not to support UGF’s initiative for people’s elected president

Unity political party has no plans to support the amendments submitted by the Union of Greens and Farmers on people’s elected president, says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

U.S. to introduce more import tariffs on China produce

The U.S. government has announced imposing import duty tariffs on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion (EUR 171 billion), in a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Latvian parties’ pre-election promotion costs reach EUR 1.64 million

Three weeks prior to Saeima elections, expenses of Latvian political parties on promotion have reached EUR 1,638,393. Concord remains in the least expense-wise, according to information from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Internal Security Bureau criticizes State Police for insufficient corruption prevention

Internal Security Bureau has detained several police officers under suspicion of bribery. Because of that, the bureau has voiced criticism to the management of Latvia’s State Bureau for insufficient corruption prevention measures.

Full transition to electronic documents in construction sector planned for 2019

During a meeting on 17 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to Construction Law developed by Economy Ministry. These amendments provide for a full transition to electronic document handling in the country’s construction sector starting from 2019. This includes submission, decision-making processes and coordination – all of these processes will be performed using Construction Information System, as confirmed by Economy Ministry.

MPC permit revoked for liquidated Jurmala-based M7 Energy

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to revoke the permit that allows selling produced electrical energy within mandatory procurement component system from SIA M7 Energy (previous name SIA KSER) CHP plant in Jurmala.

U.S. looking into Danske Bank operations in Estonia

Danske Bank, the leading bank in Denmark, is being investigated by U.S. authorities in relation to alleged money laundering from Russia involving Danske's Estonia branch, American media report.