Latvian president believes low voter turnout is due to shortage of topics that could mobilize voters

  • 2021-06-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The low turnout at local elections is not related with the warm weather or Covid-19 pandemic, but with the fact that there had not been enough topics that could mobilize voters, said Latvian President Egils Levits in an interview with the Latvian public radio today,

In his opinion, political parties had not been able to address voters as the proposed topics and issued had been too practical.

"Of course, it is not bad because there were no populistic promises during these elections," said Levits, adding that sociologists should study the reasons for the low turnout.

He said that one of the reasons could be that there are people who are satisfied with everything in their life and the elections can bring no changes, and there are others who did not go to vote, thinking that everything is bad and the elections will not change anything.

The president believes that the fact that in many municipalities the same parties won the elections means that people wish stability and does not trust new forces. Partly this shows that local governments had been working well.

Asked about what political parties could learn from the elections, the president said that they should think how to attract more voters. "The task of every political force is not only to keep their current voters, but attract new ones," he said.

As reproted, current municipal leaders won this year's local elections by a large margin in two fifths of Latvia's municipalities, according to LETA's estimates.

On Saturday, local elections were held in 40 municipalities of Latvia, with incumbent leaders winning more than 50 percent of mandates in 16 municipalities, which means that they do not need to seek partnerships and build coalitions to secure majority on the local councils.

In two municipalities - Rezekne Region and Varaklani Region - the elections will take place in the fall.

The current mayors securing the absolute majority in their constituencies include Gatis Truksnis (Greens/Farmers) in Jurmala, Egils Helmanis (National Alliance) in Ogre Region, Ugis Mitrevics (National Alliance) in Sigulda Region, Vents Armands Krauklis (Vidzeme Party) in Valka Region, Janis Baiks (Vidzeme Party) in Valmiera Region, Aivars Lembergs (For Latvia and Ventspils) in Ventspils and Aleksandrs Bartasevics (Harmony) in Rezekne, among others.

Voter turnout in this year's local elections in Latvia was just 34 percent.