Party candidate quits to get election season rolling

Just a week after political parties submitted their final lists of candidates for parliamentary elections to be held on October 4, one of the leading candidates withdrew from the race Tuesday in the first surprise of what promises to be a colorful few weeks.

Liene Cipule, placed third on the party list for Vidzeme region of the newly-formed 'Latvia From the Heart' party announced her withdrawal, claiming the party's board had not been able to explain decisions it had made on various topics when she queried them.

Cipule told LTV's evening news show Panorama on Tuesday evening: "Unfortunately I did not receive a constructive response to my questions, so today took a decision to withdraw."

She claimed other candidates had similar reservations, but had yet to voice them publicly, while denying her intention from the outset had been to wreck the chances of the new party, formed under the leadership of former state auditor Inguna Sudraba. 

Coincidentally Latvia From The Heart had drawn the 'unlucky' number 13 for its place on ballot papers when parties drew lots to determine their numbers on August 8.

According to electoral law, Cipule's name cannot be withdrawn from ballot papers even though they have yet to be printed. In the unlikely event that she was actually elected to parliament, she would not take up her mandate, she said.

It is not the first time a newly-formed party has been rocked by resignations and defections at a particularly embarrassing time.

For example Saeima member Klavs Olsteins has even made something of a speciality of such gestures, first quitting the Unity party in June 2011 to pledge support, with hand on heart, to ousted President Valdis Zatlers.

Then in October, immediately after winning a seat with the new Zatlers' Reform Party, he jumped ship again as it was about to take up its parliamentary seats, taking another five deputies with him, thus relegating the party to third place in the election rather than the second place it thought it had won.

He cited reasons similar to those expressed by Cipule.

 

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Politics
Politics