More of Latvia's EU election candidates reveal themselves

Several of Latvia's political parties revealed the names of their candidates to contest May's European Parliament elections over the weekend of February 23-4.

Latvia has just 8 seats among the European Parliament's 751 total seats - though this total number is set to fall to 705 after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Latvia's allocation will remain unchanged.

The liberal-leaning Development/For! announced a high-profile trio to head their ballot papers with academic and author Ivars Ijabs, businesswoman and former Rail Baltica CEO Baiba Rubesa and Ieva Ilvesa, a former Foreign Ministry employee married to former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Meanwhile the National Alliance ticket will again be headed by long-time MEP Roberts Zīle, with Culture Minister Dace Melbārde hoping to exchange her ministerial portfolio for a seat in Brussels and, in a suprise move, TV investigative journalist Ansis Pupols will also be on the National Alliance's nationalist-oriented ticket.

The center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš - until recently an MEP himself - also named its top trio of contenders. Former Prime Minister and current European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis will carry the party's hopes of a revival at the polls, supported by sitting MEP Sandra Kalniete and party leader Arvils Ašeradens, until recently the Latvian Economics Minister.    

A month ago, the opposition Harmony party announced that former economist and academic, and current Saeima member Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis would head its Euro-election ballot paper, though it did not reveal who else, if anyone, would be on the ticket.

It was reported later on February 25 by LSM's Latvian-language service that Edvards Smiltēns, chairman of the Latvian Regional Alliance, will lead the party's ticket in the European Parliament elections, the party told the press. The Regional Alliance did not make it into parliament in last year's elections, but it did make it over the 2% barrier required to secure state funding. 

Several other parties, including the New Conservatives, the Greens and farmers Union and KPV LV are yet to announce their European election lists.

European Parliament elections will take place in Latvia on May 25. Full details of the pre-election period and how to cast your vote on polling day are available in English at the website of the Central Election Commission (CVK). 

(The story was updated with news over Smiltēns' candidacy.)

 

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