In Latvia, no State President has been elected without behind-the-scenes talks, political deals and games, which have ended with both “throwing up” and “showing the place” and reddened cheeks. “Delfi” looks back at the circumstances of the election of six Presidents in the period from 1993 to 2019.
At the level of rumors, the “political market” has been talked about before the presidential elections since 1993, when the Saeima elected the first president since the restoration of the country’s independence, says sociologist Aigars Freimanis, who has been observing political processes in Latvia for several decades, in a conversation with the portal “Delfi”.
Journalist Jānis Domburs also agrees that all presidential elections in Latvia, with the exception of the election of Vairas Vīkes-Freiberga for a second term in 2003, have been related to both political and other markets. “But with a multi-party system and a real political culture, it is inevitable. And all these markets have been with some sense of the plague. I would call it that,” says Dombur.
1993 year. Ulmanis beats Meierovica in the market of big names
In the first presidential elections of Latvia after the restoration of independence, exiled Latvians Gunārs Meierovics and Aivars Jerumanis were nominated, as well as one local candidate with a famous surname – Guntis Ulmanis. It should be emphasized that Meierovics was also closely connected with pre-war Latvia not only because of his surname. His father, Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, was one of the founders of the Latvian state and Latvia’s first foreign minister. Thus, the younger Meierovics’ election would have symbolically shown the continuity of the Latvian state, and the older generation would have the feeling that the “good old days” have returned.
Tags: political market high stakes Latvian presidential elections pushed