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Latvian political parties undergo major upheaval

Jul 12, 2011
TBT Staff

Latvian political parties undergo major upheaval
Former President Valdis Zatlers announced Saturday that he would form his own political party.

RIGA -- Latvian party politics is going through a major upheaval in the lead up to this month's general referendum on the dissolution of parliament.

The political maneuvering of the past few days has resulted in party mergers, liquidations and foundations.

The scramble was launched by the announcement on Saturday by former Latvian President Valdis Zatlers that he would create his own political party to run in the next elections. It will be called the "Reform Party" and will be right-leaning, but specifics of who might join the party are still not clear.

Zatlers has said that Reform will refuse to cooperate with the country's three "oligarchs", whose influence Zatlers has combatted while head of state.

News of the new party's formation came alongside a vote in the People's Party congress to liquidate the party. The vote marks the final downfall of the center-right party, which ruled the country during the boom years and took much of the blame for the economic crisis.

In yet another instance of political upheaval, the country's two far right nationalist parties Monday announced a merger. All For Latvia!and TB/LNNK, which ran on the same ballot in last year's elections, voted to officially merge but will keep its cumbersome name, "All For Latvia!-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK".

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