Daugavpils city council leave Harmony party

Take note – story published 1 year and 4 months ago

Daugavpils Mayor Andrejs Elksniņš has decided to withdraw from the social democratic party Harmony and start a new regional political party, Elksniņš announced in a statement to the media and on his profile on Facebook on January 26. LETA reported later that not only Elksniņš but all Daugavpils councillors in the faction have decided to leave.

Elksniņš said that the results of the 14th Saeima elections demonstrated that Harmony is no longer unified.

“The values and the direction raised in the beginning have been forgotten, but personal interests have become more important to the interests of the majority of voters represented over the years. Everything happens logically: if there is no investment and effort, then there is a time when there is no more return,” the politician stated.

According to him, Harmony today deals with sorting, dividing the “right” and “wrong” of both the party and the residents of Latvia.

“It's not acceptable to me. It's time to form a new party. In the beginning, Latgale and my hometown of Daugavpils, where people of different beliefs have lived together successfully. I'm sure we'll find partners throughout Latvia in the future,” said Elksniņš.

Harmony itself, though, said already in November that if Elksniņš doesn't leave himself, they would vote on his exclusion.

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As reported earlier by LSM, Elksniņš' response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been questioned more than once. In July he was criticised for hobnobbing with Belarusian officials, while more recently he was seen to have dragged his feet over demolishing a Soviet-era memorial and even encouraged locals to lay flowers at it during its final days. In November, he was sent an official letter by the Foreign Minister stating that some of Elksniņs' statements "run contrary to the foreign policy positions of Latvia".

LETA found that the decision to withdraw from Harmony was taken not only by Elksniņš, but also by all other politicians of the party council. On Thursday evening, the Daugavpils councilors, who until now had been elected from the Harmony List and worked on a team with Elksniņš, said that they would continue to work under the mayor's leadership and leave the party with him.

Harmony thus will have lost its representation in Latvia's second largest city.

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