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‘Old dogs’ try for seats in Saeima

Aug 06, 2014
From wire report

‘Old dogs’ try for seats in Saeima
Aigars Kalvitis looking for work.

RIGA - Political party United for Latvia’s founder Ainars Slesers, ex-prime ministers Ivars Godmanis and Aigars Kalvitis, and politicians Janis Straume and Janis Jurkans will become leaders of their party for the upcoming Saeima elections, reports LETA.

Slesers informed the press that he will be the leader for the Riga region election ticket; Jurkans for Latgale Region; Straume for Kurzeme Region; Kalvitis for Zemgale Region, and Godmanis for Vidzeme Region. According to Slesers, these five candidates are also the potential candidates for the prime minister’s position.
Godmanis said in a press conference that patriotism and experience are the main characteristics of the party, and he believes that it has a lot to offer.

The underlying principles of United for Latvia are Latvia’s partnership with the EU and NATO, support for active work and social justice, and the so-called ‘national reconciliation’ that Slesers is proposing.
Slesers has chosen three words as his slogan: “Experience. Professionalism. Patriotism.”
He intends to present his party as an alternative to Unity in the elections. (Read analysis on page 14).

Most political observers give Slesers and his team little chance of success in the October elections. They are old-guard politicians, seemingly looking to hang on to power, with little in the way of new ideas. Slesers himself in a recent poll was voted as one of the least popular politicians in Latvia.

But this is Slesers - who failed to get elected to the 11th Saeima - and Kalvitis’ attempt at a comeback. Along with the others, including Godmanis, Jurkans, and former minister Edgars Zalans, they all had to leave politics due to being distrusted by the electorate.

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