Leading Conservative quits party

Take note – story published 1 year and 7 months ago

As government coalition negotiations continue among the parties that won seats in parliament over the weekend, those parties that failed to make the cut are dealing with the ramifications, which in some case are likely to mean ceasing to exist.

An early example came October 4 from Juris Rancāns, chairman of the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Commission, who announced he has decided to leave the Conservatives party.

The Conservatives performed strongly during their first elections in 2018 with 13% of the vote and 16 seats in Saeima but completely flopped in 2022 with just 3% of the vote and no seats at all. 

Rancāns announced his decision to withdraw from the Conservatives party on the social website Facebook.

He stated that the election results show that the party has lost the trust of the voters. 

"This is a moment of truth for the party and for me as well. We have received the voters' evaluation of our activities in the previous period. It is absolutely negative. It is also my political responsibility. That is why I have decided to leave the Conservatives party," Rancāns said.

The politician stated that he has already sent his resignation to the party, and added that he had been waiting to make the decision for a long time. Rancāns explained that he did not make this decision earlier because he felt that in times of crisis it is not right to split the party.

"The loss of voter confidence is justified. I have no doubt that in the previous elections the voter voted for us as representatives of conservative ideology. However, over time it turned out that the word "conservative" in the opinion of the party board and part of the members is relative, flexible and can be stretched as needed depending on the current conjuncture," the deputy said.

He explained that all his objections had "drowned" in the "swamp of conformism and demagoguery" of certain party members. "The party turned out to have a vague ideology and naturally fell into an identity crisis. It started throwing itself in all directions, serving the interests of other parties' voters and fulfilling the ideological points of other parties' programs. It was no longer the party I joined in 2018," explained Rancāns.

He did not mention plans to join any other party. However, with several parties still reeling after failing to cross the 5% threshold to win parliamentary seats, it seems only a matter of time before those wishing to continue with a political career pop up in the ranks of other parties.

As previously reported by LSM, Rancāns is not the first person to quit his party following the election.

Meanwhile, in the For Development/For! (A/P!) alliance, which also failed to get into parliament, outgoing Defense Minister Aris Pabriks has laid the blame at the door of some of his party colleagues, reports LSM's Latvian language service.  

Pabriks, who was the A/P! prime ministerial candidate, said the political force had suffered from rumours about its backers and had underperformed particularly badly in Rīga and Kurzeme. A/P! is due to conduct an autopsy on its campaign on Tuesday.

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