Participation in elections is not only a right but also a moral obligation - Levits

  • 2022-09-28
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Participation in the elections is not only citizens' right, but also their moral obligation, President Egils Levits said at a meeting with schoolchildren in Saldus earlier this week.

The main topic of the discussion was participation in the elections, as the President's Chancery informed LETA. While discussing whether voting is a right or a duty, Levits said that, in his opinion, participation in elections was a moral obligation that should be perceived "as something good".

"During the reawakening, people fought for having the right to participate in free elections, because we had been denied this for 50 years. Currently, Ukrainians are fighting to have their own democratic state, where they can participate in free elections and build their country through these elections. It is a natural desire to shape the environment in which one lives, and elections offer an opportunity to do this," the president explained.

On the other hand, students said that if a person did not go to vote, he or she should not complain how bad everything was. The debaters agreed that voting for a political party or a specific politician required trust, so this choice should be made very carefully.

In the president's opinion, every citizen has the idea of his or her own ideal Latvia and these ideals are different for everyone. "Democracy means finding compromises - we have to agree on our multiple ideals," Levitt said.

When discussing citizens' involvement in civic activities, students emphasized that education and work experience were important for meaningful participation in public processes and especially in politics. Student self-governments is a good example of civic activism, said students adding that young people had an obligation to participate in the political life of the country.

The president and the students also discussed dispelling the stereotype that everyone in politics was dishonest. Draft amendments to the Law on Local Governments, which would allow citizens from the age of 16 to participate in local government elections, and mandatory national defense service were also discussed.