President urges people to go out and vote

President Raimonds Vējonis on October 5 urged Latvians to turn out in the largest possible numbers for Saeima elections taking place October 6.

Speaking to LTV's Morning Panorama show via telephone, the head of state said citizens should not "give up their voice to others" by failing to vote and said he hoped the composition of the next Saeima would give an accurate reflection of the political composition of the nation as a whole and not be distorted as a result of low voter turnout.

"I urge all Latvian citizens to go to the election and vote," Vējonis said, advised the public not to be swayed by populist promises but to consider whether the claims made by political parties were realistic and to evaluate the track records of candidates.

"It's very important to think about how realistic are the promises made by the parties and if they are financially credible," he said, and the next four years would provide the proof of such claims.

He also said that when the election is done and he faces the task of nominating a prime minister to form a new government, he will look beyond the number of seats won to ensure there is no major change in the course of foreign policy or a potential weakening of national security. Other criteria, such as plans for a balanced budget, continuing education and health reforms, and strengthening the rule of law will also be taken into account, he asserted.

He also drew attention to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom as an example of the dangers on non-participation in a democratic vote.

"There is a very good example - the referendum in Great Britain, where young people wanted very strongly that Great Britain remained in the European Union but quite a few didn't participate in the referendum... and we see the result," Vējonis said.

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Election
Politics