10 questions to: the National Alliance

Ahead of October 6 parliamentary elections we bring you some question and answer sheets from each of the 16 competing parties, listed in the order in which they will appear on ballot papers. The fourth installment concerns the National Alliance, which is part of the current three-party coalition.

1. Do you plan to reduce public administration?

We need to move towards more effective public administration. This means that reforms are needed to improve its functioning, among other things, different e-solutions, which the National Alliance firmly believes in. For example, many documents are still in paper form, and they are manually entered into the system by the appropriate authority. This is not optimal, though it's not the employees, but the system that to be improved. In the long run... this would result in a reduction in the number of employees. However, such an optimization would be a logical outcome. Though it should also be noted that according to OECD statistics, in 2015, 20% of the total employed population was employed in the public sector in Latvia, while in Lithuania it was 22.8% and Estonia 23%.

2. What are the three ministries that you would most like to lead?

Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and Ministry of Culture.

3. How should the work of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) be changed?

It would be desirable for KNAB to more quickly provide materials for prosecution in cases of widespread public interest (for example, in the Rimšēvics case). If there are well-publicized allegations and then there is a long silence and uncertainty, it negatively reflects on the Latvian state both politically and economically. It would also be desirable to find out what the barriers were that prevented KNAB from pursuing cases in which there was operational information about alleged crimes several years ago (such as Rimšēvics case and Oligarch conversations).

4. Should Latvia remain within the European Union and NATO?

Latvia is and will be an active and loyal member of the European Union (EU) and NATO. Therefore, the National Union is vigorously involved both in increasing defense spending and in supporting the continuous presence of allied NATO troops in Latvia.

The NA advocates a European Union of national states whose sovereignty and cultural qualities are respected and valued. The National Alliance opposes the federalization of the EU, which would result in small countries such as Latvia losing the opportunity to equally influence the processes of development and advancement of the EU.

5. How and in what way should the fast credit business in Latvia be restricted?

The National Association supports amendments to the Consumer Rights Protection Law, which stipulates more stringent restrictions on non-bank lenders. The amendments, in particular, stipulate that the total cost of a loan should not exceed 0.07 per cent [interest] per day.

However, it's important not to stop there. Not only must parliament vote on the relevant amendments, but further restrictions must be introduced. One should mention the aggressive advertising of quick loans, which often misleads people on the real costs of cheap credit and, more importantly, attracts new customers who may not even need such a loan. 

In the long run, perhaps only a few lenders will remain, but there is hope that they will lend money in good faith, assessing the borrower's ability to repay the loan. Latvia does not need this sector in its current form of chaos, there are dozens of firms with unknown reputations and sources of funding.

6. How and in what way should gambling businesses in Latvia be restricted?

Set limits on the number of gambling places in a specific area to eliminate the situation when the gaming halls are on each corner of the street. Restrict outdoor advertising for gaming halls. If a billboard talks about winning it also has to mention losing.

7. What are three measures you would take to significantly improve the revenue side of the state budget?

1) Better collection of value added tax (VAT)

2) Reducing unemployment and promoting employment

3) It should be ensured that more citizens return to Latvia each year than leave. The National Alliance will support every Latvian who wants to return to live in the Homeland. Many Latvians have accumulated invaluable experience and acquired new skills abroad. The return of these citizens will mean more work power, including in sectors where there is already a clear shortage of employees, and consequently, through labor and indirect taxes, will generate higher revenues for the state budget.

8. Do you support the Cohabitation Act, which would also provide a basis for legal relations for same-sex couples?

No, because we believe it is necessary to defend family values ​, and Latvia has decided on a constitutional basis that marriage - a union between a man and a woman, as well as a family - is legally protected.

The state recognizes and protects the institution of marriage not because it allows people to feel as comfortable as possible in their cohabitation, but because of the unique and fundamental benefit that this gives to our country, society and all humanity. This recognition and protection is based on the common good, not on the satisfaction of individual selfish instincts.

Registration of same-sex couples would not mean providing "equality" but a radical redefinition of the marriage institution at state level, which would open the way to the destruction of the institution of marriage. We consider initiatives to be a social experiment, where a minority of society wants to impose its vision of the world on the majority of Latvian society. Its aim is to transform society by law, but such an artificial modification and "improvement" of society will not be tolerated. The Latvian legal system already guarantees equal rights to all people without any discrimination, but it does not necessarily mean that the state has a duty to support a homosexual lifestyle.

9. Should another President of Latvia be elected for the next term [as opposed to a second term for Raimonds Vējonis]?

Yes. The National Union would like to see Egils Levits, a constitutional law expert as the next president. We respect Raimonds Vējonis as a good person and an experienced politician, but in order to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the presidency to the state, other essential qualities are needed.

First of all, the ability to see broader interconnections, formulate and implement national strategic interests. The president must be a nationally oriented person of belief and ideals. Second, the skill of being a leader is the ability to communicate, inspire people, take responsibility, formulate goals, exercise power not only formally, but also with the authority of one's personality. Third, experience and knowledge in the real political process.

10. Which political forces do you consider as potential allies, and which are the ones with which you would refuse to cooperate?

Our "red line" parties are "Harmony" and "Latvia's Russian Union", with which we will not allow any cooperation. In order to prevent these parties from being in the Latvian government, we are ready to cooperate with other parties.

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