Parties start to submit local election lists

Political parties, including some unfamiliar names, have begun submitting candidate lists to the Central Electoral Commission ahead of local elections taking place June 3.

Inevitably, a lot of attention is being given to Riga, where candidate lists for three parties have already been submitted, according to LTV's Panorama news broadcast.

Among the first to deposit a list by Friday, April 14, was the little known 'Eurosceptic Action Party' led by former Harmony party member of parliament Igors Melnikovs, who is also the party's mayoral candidate. Melnikovs left Harmony after becoming embroiled in a tax scandal.

The self-styled 'anti-globalist' party which favors Latvia leaving both the EU and NATO also includes controversial Islamic convert Roberts Klimovics among its candidates, yet at the same time its home page says it defends "traditional values ​​of Christian morality, family and culture".

Another candidate of the Eurosceptic party is currently employed as a heating engineer in Sweden.

Also filing its candidate list early was the new joint grouping consisting of Latvia's Regional Alliance party and For Latvia's Development, which will have candidates running including a few high-profile names in Riga mayoral candidate Martins Bondars, basketball player Anete Jēkabsone-Žogota, artistic impresario Andrejs Žagars, and fashion designer Indra Salceviča.

The other early-bird party is the New Conservative Party led by former National Alliance lawmaker and Interior Minister Janis Bordans. He has managed to attract former anti-corruption cops Juta Strike and Juris Jurašs to his ticket and will no doubt stress its intention to take on graft.

Candidate lists may be submitted until 24 April. On June 3 voters will choose 1,614 council members to fill seats in 119 municipalities.

You can check out the parties and candidates for yourself (and partly in English) HERE.

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