Foreign Minister warns of expected attempts to influence elections

There's no doubt that foreign powers will try to influence Latvia's next parliamentary election, slated for autumn 2018, said Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs on June 30 appearing on LTV. 

"The experience of both the US and France should be taken into account," said Rinkēvičs. He said foreign powers will try to probe weak spots in the EU and NATO.

"Russia ... has interfered in elections by hacking e-mails, and of course carrying out information campaigns," said the Latvian Foreign Minister.

"There is no doubt that there'll be outside attempts to influence our Saeima election process next year," he said.

He said Latvia must prepare its IT systems and that the attempts to sway the election are also expected to take place in the media and on social networks.

Rinkēvičs also struck a cautionary note over president Raimonds Vējonis' proposal to instate direct presidential elections

"A speedy, rushed reform would pose a lot of questions right now," he said.

"We can see how our election process [usually] unfolds - the more money you have, the more prominent your visibility on the backs of buses, pardon my language," said Rinkēvičs. 

"And this increases your odds of getting into the European Parliament, the municipalities, and the Saeima," he said.

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