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State funding for parties proposal – no more than EUR 80 000 per political party

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUParties of the ruling coalition in Latvia have agreed to calculate state budget support based on contribution on elections of all levels, journalists were told by Latvia’s President Egils Levits after a meeting of coalition parties’ Saeima faction representatives on Monday, 7 October.

The official notes that parties have reached a mutual agreement, establishing that the funding amount will depend not only on parties’ start in Saeima, but also municipal and European Parliament elections.

«Political parties have a duty to remain active and be able to attract members and voters to start in all elections. This contributes to political parties’ mutual competition and quality,» Levits says.

National Alliance «All for Latvia – For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» chairman Raivis Dzintars told journalists that his party’s proposal is setting a ceiling for maximum state funding amount. According to the party, funding should not exceed EUR 800 000 a year.

At the same time, the political party proposes significantly reducing personal donation amounts to political parties, stating that the total donation amount should not exceed 12 minimal monthly wages in Latvia.

Attīstībai/Par! party leader Daniels Pavļuts explained that the reduction of private persons’ donations would mean that by adopting relevant regulations, private persons would be allowed to donate four times less to parties than currently.

«We have agreed on the goal to reinforce parties. It is important for funding of political parties to be affected by their participation in all elections, so that parties are able to start in all elections and so that the party system is able to mature,» said Pavļuts.

KPV LV Saeima faction leader Atis Zakatistovs says financing political parties from the state budget is a question of political maturity that should not be scoffed at, because Latvia needs independent political power.

New Conservative Party Saeima faction leader Juta Strīķe said it is well-known that those who pay «order the music and legislative drafts», which is why it would be a step towards making sure lobbyist activity is fair.

Latvia’s President Egils Levits stressed that the agreement on larger state funding for parties would be a major step «towards preventing the flaws of 30-year-old democracy».

More on this topic: Latvian government to increase funding for political parties – EUR 5.5 per vote

«We’ve had very weak funding from the state budget, which has made parties dependent on private sponsors, who do not always work in the interest of society. Democracy demands parties are mostly sustained from the state budget by doing work for the benefit of society and the state – regardless if parties are in the coalition and opposition,» stressed the president.

He stresses that the allocated state funding amount needs to be transparent, adding that the order for provision of such funding needs to be developed by the Cabinet of Ministers.

According to him, funding should be spent on organization of work, as well as politicians’ communication with society.

«This is necessary so that parties are able to function as they should under democratic rule,» said the president, stressing that this will allow Latvia to create strong political organizations and come close to the level of other Baltic States.

As previously reported, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš reported after the meeting that parties forming the ruling coalition in Latvia agreed on the best way to create a political parties financing law.


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