National Alliance reelects current leader Raivis Dzintars

Take note – story published 4 years ago

Current National Alliance (NA) leader Raivis Dzintars was reelected at the party union congress on December 14, according to Latvian Television's “Panorāma” broadcast on the same day.

The union represents an alliance between the parties All For Latvia! and For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK. Dzintars was elected with votes from 239 delegates, with only 16 voting against. He was the only candidate for the party chair position.

New board member include politician Gaidis Bērziņš, Member of the European Parliament Roberts Zīle, Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis, Saeima Speaker Ināra Mūrniece, Members of Parliament Jānis Dombrava, Rihards Kols, Ilze Indriksone, Ritvars Jansons, Edvīns Šnore and Jānis Iesalnieks, Member of the Rīga City Coucil Ieva Holma, and Member of the Bauska Region Coucil Raitis Ābelnieks.

The board will also include Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards and his advisor Jānis Eglīts, as well as NA Secretary-General Raivis Zeltīts. Kristaps Gulbis was elected to the board from the youth organization. The newest addition to the board will be NA Rīga Chapter Chair Edvards Ratnieks.

The main congress theme was “looking to the future”. Member discussions included admonishment of party members who have left, and the resolve to regain power in Rīga. Delegate debates included criticism not only of their own members, but also of coalition partners.

Other topics discussed were the need for mandatory military service and issues with the administrative territorial reforms. The latest polling data shows NA in second place with 8.8%, however, more than a quarter of voters (25.4%) said they were undecided and a further 19.5% said that they would have no intention of participating if Saeima elections were happening now.

As previously reported, NA has been at the center of a “De Facto” investigation on connections to far-right nationalists in the United Kingdom. Secretary general, Raivis Zeltīts, was revealed recently to have been the user of a far-right message board called Iron March. Zeltīts subsequently apologised to his party for the "cloud" the revelations of his far-right connections had caused.

However this week reported that the award-winning Re:Baltica investigative journalism team have uncovered more links between one of the parties in Latvia's ruling coalition and foreign political forces with extreme right-wing views, specifically "Ukrainian party National Corps, the political wing of Azov movement which grew out of Azov volunteer regiment. Created in the wake of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the regiment has attracted numerous far-right extremists from Ukraine and other countries, especially (and paradoxically) from Russia."

However, the National Alliance includes a fairly brioad spectrum of right-of-center opinion within its ranks, ranging from traditional conservatism to more radical nationalism.

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