RIGA - President Egils Levits' performance rating has reached a historically low mark, according to a SKDS survey reported by Latvian Television reported last night.
Only 25 percent of the Latvian population positively assess the work of the President, while 60 percent of respondents evaluate his work negatively, according to the survey. Compared to the public's evaluation of previous Latvian presidents, this is a low assessment.
For example, Vaira Vike-Freiberga's rating had been above 50 percent all throughout her term. Andris Berzins, on the other hand, had a remarkably negative rating at the very beginning of his term, but even then it was only so low for a few months, after which it rose sharply.
SKDS director, sociologist Arnis Kaktins explained that if you look at last month's ratings, Levits is very unpopular. "When Levits took office, his popularity was at the level of a number of presidents before him. He was in the plusses, but since then his popularity has only gone down. It reached its lowest point in March, when he was viewed negatively by 63 percent of residents," he said.
The sociologist indicated that this could be explained by the Covid-19 situation. "Society demands strong leaders, that there will be someone to govern the country. The Latvian government is relatively weak in dealing with the crisis, and if we look at the president, we cannot say that we have a strong hand to bring order from his tower. This is most likely why the president is not very popular at the moment,'' he added.
The researcher had no doubt that Levits has a chance to improve his ratings, but if the president's popularity remains as low as it is now, it is unlikely that politicians will be able to re-elect him for a second term.
The situation is different for the current president, whose rating has been stable in the negative in recent months and dropped to minus 35 in July.
Levits began his four-tear term as president on July 8, 2019.