Union possible to evade penalties

  • 2010-03-03
  • From wire reports

RIGA - The basic principle and goal of the possible union between the People’s Party and Latvia’s First Party/Latvia’s Way (LPP/LC) is a unified platform for economic renewal in Latvia, said Regional Development and Local Government Affairs Minister Edgars Zalans (People’s Party) in an interview on the LNT show 900 Seconds, reports news agency LETA. Zalans indicated that a union of the two parties has not been ruled out, especially with the current situation as it is in Latvian politics and the economy.

The local government minister confirmed that the union of the two parties was directed at the creation of a common ticket for the Saeima elections, as well as the possibility of forming a new government afterwards. At present, discussions are taking place in the Saeima on the possible union. A meeting has also taken place between the two parties’ leaderships. “Things will become clearer in March, and by July will already be completely clear,” added Zalans.  Former Corruption Prevention Bureau chief Aleksejs Loskutovs, now a member of political party Society for Different Politics, is concerned that the possible union between the People’s Party and the LPP/LC could be taking place with “the objective of not having to pay back financial resources used illegally in the previous Saeima election.” 

Loskutovs indicates that by uniting and forming a new party, in theory the opportunity arises for escaping from previous obligations. For the People’s Party, this amounts to more than 1 million lats (1.4 million euros), while for the LPP/LC the number is around 500,000 lats, as has previously been established by the Corruption Prevention Bureau during an inspection of the parties’ pre-election spending violations.

“The unification [of the two parties] looks like a collective escape from their responsibilities, of more than 1.5 million lats of repayment to the state budget,” indicated Loskutovs.