Founding member of New Conservatives quits in response to railways row

Gundars Ābols, one of the founders of the New Conservative Party, chairman of the board at logistics provider LDz Loģistika and former member of the party's board, has said that he has decided to leave the party in protest against the actions of the party's leaders and ministers.

But his former party now insists that he was expelled rather than quit on his own accord, the LETA news agency reported May 23. 

According to the party, the decision on Ābols' expulsion was taken on May 13 and he was notified about it on May 15.

Ābols made the announcement in an interview with newspaper Neatkarīgā, pointing out that the party's leadership "trample" on the ideals they were initially professing. The last straw was the decision of Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) to express no confidence in Latvijas Dzelzceļš railroad company's board.

"The guidelines for the creation of a state based on the rule of law, which we once created, are now being trampled on. Turns out, there are two ways to measure justice and integrity. The New Conservative Party's leaders have one opinion, while everyone else's opinion is completely different," Ābols said in the interview.

Initially the New Conservative Party's emphasis was on conservative values, but over the last two years, people from the Corruption Prevention Bureau joined the party, becoming the party's leaders and changing its priorities, Ābols points out.

"There also were new people who I have nothing to reproach for. They joined the party thinking they were fighting for the right cause. But is justice in the country compatible with false or wholly unjustified accusations? OECD good corporate governance principles have been introduced in our country, and the structure and management at Latvian Railways, other companies, ports are based on these principles," says Ābols.

In Ābols' opinion, if the party's leaders can accuse anyone of corruption, even if there is no evidence, and if they do everything in their power to eliminate Latvia as a country based on the rule of law, that is unacceptable to him and he has no choice but quit.

As reported, on May 7 Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) voiced no-confidence in a number of executives at the state-owned Latvian Railways transport company

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