Firebrand MP founds new party

A new political party, Kam Pieder Valsts (KPV, Who Owns The State), was founded in Riga May 3 on the initiative of independent MP Artuss Kaimins.

Kaimins made his name first as an actor, then as a shock-jock type host of internet talk show Sunu Buda (Dog House) before joining the Latvia's Regional Alliance (LRA) political party shortly before Saeima elections. Such was his popularity that without him on their list, LRA would have struggled to win any seats at all.

However, Kaimins' erratic behavior, which incldes walking through the corridors of power with a webcam and being arrested after causing trouble in a Riga restaurant, saw him part company with LRA in December 2015 and now he's back with his own party, with several hundred founding members giving Kaimins a standing ovation.

A total of 388 party members had registered for participation in the foundation meeting.

KPV will make a new social contract between tax payers and the state, Kaimins said. The new contract will establish that tax payers have rights but public servants and officials have obligations, reversing the existing arrangement, he said, adding that he had been trying to narrow the gap between tax payers and the powers that be.

Kaimins said there was only so much positive change he could bring about all by himself therefore a party was needed to kickstart the process.

He said he was deeply moved by establishment of a new party and said this was "part of a great beginning”.

Kaimins was the elected as the KPV board chairman during the foundation meeting. The new party will have a nine-member board. The board members were elected in an open vote, and the audience could see how Kaimins voted on the candidates and mostly supported the candidate board members favored by the party leader, especially after he stressed that board members should be selected with care because he as the board chairman would have to work together with them.

The manifesto of KPV says its objectives include strengthening democracy and rule of law in Latvia, and making decisions of the government and the parliament in taxpayers' interests. The new party will also strive for greater transparency in the work of the government and the parliament, foster civic society's involvement in political decisions, and bolster national security, it was claimed.

KPV is the second new party yo be formed in recent weeks, following the founding of the Kods kalpot musu Latvijai (Honor to serve our Latvia) party as a national extension of the Honor to serve Riga party which cooperates with the opposition Saskanas (Harmony) party. 

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