RIGA - Parliament's right-wing parties have begun writing up their candidate lists for the upcoming elections, although they're keeping the names confidential. The People's Party campaign manager, Vents Armands Krauklis, told the Baltic News Service that by May 15 the party's regional departments would reveal their candidates. The names will then be discussed during a board meeting. In July, the party will finally approve its program and reveal the selected candidates.
According to Krauklis, the People's Party had presented all parliamentarians with the opportunity to run, including famous composer Raimonds Pauls. However, the latter has expressed no interest. "Maybe some people who are not close to politics might think he will participate, but, in fact, he is the most disciplined lawmaker and a very active person," said Krauklis. The leader added that the People's Party would not favor certain politicians, since citizens support the party as a team of professionals, not because of one or another leader. Meanwhile, the Green and Farmers' Union faction leader Augusts Brigmanis said the Latvian Farmers' Union board will approve its candidate list at the end of May. Both parties will draw up a final list of candidates during a joint conference in July. "The final list will be known only in July. It is sure that all Green and Farmers' Union ministers, parties' and union leaders and all lawmakers will run in the elections," said Brigmanis.
For Fatherland and Freedom faction leader Maris Grinblats has scheduled May 18 as their first candidate approval date. In June, the party council will discuss the list. Grinblats said the party would exclude non-members from its list. "There will be both long-term and new party members in the list," said Grinblats, adding that current lawmakers would run in the elections, alongside some surprises. New Era leader Einars Repse said 96 names were already on his list, although it was too early to speak of campaign leaders. Repse said that all candidates were leaders in their fields and, therefore, their place on the list had no meaning. The MP added that he would most likely lead the list. "People are often looking for personalities, not the name of the party," Repse said.
Latvia's First Party spokesman Edgars Vaikulis told the Baltic News Service that his party was discussing potential candidates with Latvia's Way. "Currently there are about seven or eight leaders, which might run in several election districts," said Vaikulis.He specified that the list would include candidates from Latvia's First, Lavia's Way and regional parties. The nominations will be discussed in a joint forum on May 20, then during Latvia's First's congress on May 27 and Latvia's Way's on June 3. As Latvia's First chairman Juris Lujans recently tendered his resignation as chairman, a new leader will be have to be appointed. According to unofficial sources, Lujans will remain in the party as deputy chairman in economic affairs, while former Transport Minister Ainars Slesers could take the open post of chairman.
The parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 7.