“Not to suit and dislike everyone.” The America party will be led by Burov

Oleg Burov (from right) Andris Amerikam: “You will not be ashamed of what I do.”

Photo: Edijs Pālens / LETA

Ināra Egle, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”

For almost ten years, the party “Honor to Serve Riga” was led by the former Deputy Mayor of Riga, now a Member of the European Parliament Andris Ameriks. There is very little left until the party’s 10th anniversary in March next year, but the “Honor to Serve Riga” (“GKR”) will be welcomed under the leadership of another leader – Oleg Burov, a deputy of the Riga City Council, has been elected chairman of the GKR on Saturday.

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Juris Radzevičs, the leader of the Riga City Council faction, who was also the deputy at the time when the political force was led by A. Ameriks, will be Burov’s deputy. A. Ameriks, the long-term leader of the GKR, explained his resignation from his duties in the European Parliament, which prevents him from fulfilling his duties as a party leader. According to A. Ameriks, they must be entrusted to a person located in Latvia during the Saeima election year.

He will remain in the party, but will not be on the board. All members of the Riga City Council have been elected – O. Burovs, J. Radzevičs, Jakovs Rafalsons, Ainars Baštiks and Dainis Turlais. Ausma Cimdiņa, a professor at the University of Latvia, Romans Alijevs, director of the Riga State Classical Gymnasium, Natālija Ābola, a journalist and producer, Diāna Novicka, a businessman, Andris Treimanis, a football referee, and Guntis Dūda, a Riga municipal police specialist, will also be on the board.

Not to suit and dislike everyone

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GKR has also decided to run for office in the 14th Saeima elections, which are likely to take place by delegating party members to a list of other political forces on the basis of a mutual co-operation agreement. From what was said in the congressional debate, it was clear that there was no such agreement with any party yet.

“We cannot yet report on the achievements to run in the Saeima elections,” J. Radzevičs admitted. He is aware that “GKR” is not easy to find its niche, because it can not be positioned with “for” or “against” vaccination. Several speakers emphasized that GKR was not on its way to populism because it was a pragmatic party of professionals. That is why football referee A. Treimanis, who is also a lawyer, has joined it.

He said: “At a time when there is so much populism, which is also heard from the Saeima, when there is a tossing of decisions from which the society is tired, a pragmatic offer is needed.” A. Baštiks is convinced: “We have people who can participate in the Saeima elections. However, it is important not to adapt and please everyone, but to form a circle of supporters from people who share our views. ” A. Baštiks and J. Radzevičs have also gained experience in the work of the government as ministers.

It should be reminded that in 2012, GKR was founded as the Riga Party, which together with Saskaņa ruled the city of Riga at that time. At its core were the former LPP / LC, headed by Ainars Slesers, which had been wound up. Now A. Slesers has returned to politics with a new political force “Latvia in the first place”, but the views of the two parties are so different that now they are no longer on the way, some leading politicians of “GKR” have already admitted. However, several former members of GKR are now with A. Šlesers – also Saeima deputy Jūlija Stepanenko, who was the only one of GKR to be elected to the Saeima when GKR delegated its candidates to the “Harmony” list.

Born as a party of power

For more than a year now, GKR has been in opposition to the Riga City Council, which is in an unusual situation if it has been in power for so long. This was also voiced in J. Radzeviča’s speech, in which the politician listed, in his opinion, good proposals, which were rejected by the majority of the City Council.

Among them is a proposal to increase the benefit for repressed persons, which would require EUR 280 000 from the budget. At the same time, the council has not been able to absorb the funds provided for in the budget, for example, for the repair of courtyards. “The power of the coalition is strengthened by the Latvian Russian Union (LKS), which can be seen in the votes,” J. Radzevičs added.

Previously, similar conclusions had been expressed by the thinkers of the National Association, who are being re-voted with the votes of LKS. J. Radzevičs admitted that this is not the best time for the party – he compared it with the situation he had experienced on the way to the place from where he joined the congress.

The bicycle pedal is broken during the ride. “I am trying to reach my goal with a broken pedal. I have such associations for the past year as well. Let’s try that bike all together and with both pedals, ”wished J. Radzevičs.

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The new chairman O. Burov has been known to A. Amerika for 35 years, therefore he has accepted his offer to take over the leadership of the party. Mr Burov did not worry about the risks that the President had to face in such a situation, as it is very easy for a leader to become a liquidator of a political force.

In recent history, such cases have been experienced. This is not to say that this is the end of his political career. For example, the last chairman of the Reform Party, Vyacheslav Dombrovskis, who was elected to the Saeima from the “Harmony”, has founded a new party, the Republic. After his election as president, Burov said, “It’s America’s party, but I’ll do my best not to be ashamed of what I’m doing, Andrew.”

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