Fresh revelations from 'oligarch transcripts'

The news weeky magazine Ir in June 22 published fresh revelations of collusion among Latvia's cadre of so-called 'oligarchs' to manipulate the political and economic systems of the country for their own gain.

Vejonis calls for direct presidential elections

President Raimonds Vejonis has called for the Latvian parliament to change the way the country's president is elected to a direct vote. In addition, Vejonis also wants to expand the powers of higher officials including the President and the Prime Minister, he said on June 22 addressing MPs at the last meeting of the spring parliamentary session.

Harmony MP to become new Daugavpils mayor

Harmony is likely to form a coalition with businessman Rihards Eigims’ Our Party in Latvia’s second largest city Daugavpils, which means that the current mayor Janis Lacplesis will probably lose his job, information obtained by LETA suggests. Later on June 8 Eigims confirmed to LTV that Harmony MP Andrejs Elksnins will become the mayor of Daugavpils

Showboating MP tells Russian outlet he is someone else

Controversial MP Artuss Kaimiņš has had his Facebook account hacked, he told LTV on June 4, after an update was posted saying he was quitting parliament. The news came shortly before the MP was apparently featured in a recording by the Kremlin-controlled Sputnik news agency pretending to be a political rival.

Officials send condolences to UK

Latvian officials sent their condolences to the United Kingdom June 4 following what appeared to be yet another terrorist outrage. 

Election results: little change

Results of local elections released early on June 4 showed that in general the municipal landcsape will remain unchanged for the next four years.

Latvia, Lithuania visa cooperation extended

An existing agreement between Latvia and Lithuania allowing embassies of each country to issue short-stay visas for the other has been extended with several new locations joining the list of offices included. 

Are you ready to vote in Latvia's local elections?

While June 3 is designated polling day for local elections across Latvia, early voting commences on the evening of May 31. If you are an EU citizen and have been registered in the official population register for at least 90 days, you are entitled to vote too.

Vejonis seizes initiative on non-citizen issue

President Raimonds Vejonis seized the initiative in the debate about Latvia's lingering 'non-citizens' problem May 31, signalling he will propose legislation to Saeima to give automatic Latvian citizenship to all born in Latvia. 

Russian rail freight not collapsing claims PM

Reports that the amount of rail freight being sent across Latvia to and from Russia have dramatically reduced in volume are not accurate, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis insisted May 30. 

Blogger probes covert campaign praising Ventspils mayor

Another bombshell investigation by IT enthusiast blogger Jānis Polis looks into several self-styled news websites linked to Alberts Jodis, an advertising industry figure in Latvia. Many of Jodis' websites, which include a website laying a claim to being a news agency, have one thing in common - they vocally support long-standing Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs, often referred to as a leading 'oligarch', ahead of the municipal elections on June 3.

Kucinskis denies criticism of tax reform plan

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis launched a surprisingly strong critique of the European Commission's representative office in Riga May 24, suggesting that it had in effect gone rogue.

Baltic geopolitics considered in US

Baltic politics and regional issues were debated May 19 and 20 at a conference in the United States organized by the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC).

Constitutional Court head calls for establishing bill review institution

A new institution should be established consisting of legal experts, economists, policy experts and historians to analyze whether bills fit the Satversme (Constitution) prior to becoming law, said the newly-elected chairwoman of the Latvian Constitutional Court in an interview with Latvian Radio on May 18.