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Harmony seek damages over Latvia PM's independence threat claim

  • 2015-03-06
  • from wire reports, RIGA

The Latvian political party Harmony has decided to take legal action over statements made by Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma on election day last year and is claiming moral compensation of 1,000 euros.

The court told LETA that no case has been initiated yet.

The press secretary of the party's parliamentary group, Katrina Iljinska, told LETA that in Harmony's opinion, Straujuma's statement that "with Harmony in the parliament, the independence of Latvia might be threatened" was defamatory. Straujuma said this on 4 Oct. last year: the day when elections to the Saeima (Latvian Parliament) were held. Harmony has been described by some observers as pro-Russian and has a cooperation agreement with United Russia, Vladimir Putin's party. 

Led by Nils Usakovs, the Mayor of Riga, Harmony holds 24 out of 100 seats in the Saeima - a larger number than any other party - but is not part of the current coalition government, made up of Unity, the Union of Greens and Farmers and National Alliance. 

In addition to seeking moral damages, Harmony wants Straujuma, who is a representative of the Unity party, to retract her statement.

As reported, in November 2014, the State Police initiated an administrative case in connection with Straujuma's statements on the day of the 12th Saeima elections.

The court decided to fine Straujuma 50 euros.