Leading politician quits Regional Alliance

Riga councilor and former Regional Alliance (LRA) head Mārtiņš Bondars has quit the party, saying its course has become unacceptable to him and that it's seeking closer alignment to the Greens and Farmers Union, he told the press on December 18.

He won't be forfeiting his post as an opposition councilor at the Riga City Council, however. 

Bondars said that the party's course for the past six months has been "incomprehensible" and runs contrary to public interest.

"It's crucial now that political forces unite and have a strong offer for the next year's parliamentary elections.. The LRA, in its decisions and deeds, supports political cooperation with such powers that could hardly be called European and do not represent the interests of the state. That's unacceptable to me," he said.

Bondars is the second leading figure to leave LRA, which holds seven seats at the parliament, following firebrand MP Artuss Kaimiņš who left to form his own party last year. 

The political prospects of LRA may be turning very sour ahead of next year's elections. Bondars was the most visible figure of the party, while Kaimiņš was so popular that without him on their list, LRA would have struggled to win any seats at all.

Bondars previously stepped down as head of the party, after its MP Mārtiņš Šics voted to make Inguna Sudraba head of the Saeima committee set up to probe the scandalous 'oligarch transcripts' - secret service records of the few boasting about using their influence for material gain - that caused public uproar this year. 

Sudraba was among the influential cadre of politicians mentioned in the conversations. 

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