Ex-politicians play musical chairs at Dinamo Riga

Former President Guntis Ulmanis has been appointed new chairman of the board at the joint-stock company Dinamo Riga, the hockey club that articipates in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Ulmanis, who held office in the immediate aftermath of Latvia's restoration of independence in 1991 on the back of his family ties to pre-war President Karlis Ulmanis, was previously a member of the company's council and is one of the main owners of the club.

The ex-politician's post on the council will now go to another ex-politician, Edgars Zalans.

Ulmanis himself takes up his position as a result of the departure of another ex-politician, namely former Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis who at the beginning of the month became CEO of the Latvijas Gaze gas monopoly.

Both Latvijas Gaze and Dinamo Riga are strongly influenced - to put it mildly - by gas magnate and former KGB officer Juris Savickis with political connections forming a cosy set of business relationships.

Periodically the company appeals for state support on the grounds that it provides first-class sporting entertainment and training for Latvia's hockey players, however all such requests from the millionaire businessmen have so far been rejected.

Ulmanis, Kalvitis and former minister Zalans were all leading members of the Par Labu Latviju (For The Good Of Latvia) political party founded by more businessmen-politicians in the forms of former Prime Minister Andris Skele and and former Transport minister Ainars Slesers. 

Par Labu Latviju's successor party, Vienoti Latvijai (United for Latvia) was trounced at the polls in 2014's parliamentary elections, attracting just 1% of the vote and winning no seats.

After an indifferent season, Dinamo Riga's losses last year totaled €1.69 million last year, despite a turnover increase of 19%.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor