Political Center of Excellence in the pipeline

Take note – story published 8 years and 2 months ago

Saeima is set to approve plans for a new Political Center Of Excellence (POCOE) to join the already existing NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence and the recently-formed Journalistic Center of Excellence, LSM has learned. 

The new facility will be charged with "creating a new, more confident and more capable breed of Latvian politician" according to leaked draft documents seen by LSM.

Aspiring and existing politicians will be taught the arts of politics in a "friendly and non-judgmental environment" at the new center, gaining first competence and ultimately excellence in everything from speaking in public to avoiding gaffes and managing their financial affairs in a "tax efficient" manner.

Staffing remains to be confirmed but sources close to the project told LSM former President Andris Berzins has been approached to act as Honorary Chancellor with former parliamentary speaker Solvita Aboltina due to resign her parliamentary mandate in June in order to become Rector of the Center of Excellence.

The lecturing staff is likely to feature a long list of former and current political heavyweights including Artuss Kaimins, Karlis Serzants, Ainars Slesers and Valerijs Kravcovs plus two other former politicians called Andris Berzins.

They will speak from experience, outlining how they overcame their own serious political problems in order to become members of society. 

Graduates of POCOE will receive certificates proving their competence to hold forth on all manner of topics from family values to the necessity for structural reforms in any given ministry.

"This will be the first of its kind in the Baltic states," said a prominent politician involved in the project who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"First of all, politicians need training. That much is clear. Second of all, this will act as a magnet for less-skilled politicians from the whole Baltic region. Fees will be high, and with lots of other businesses closing down this will bring much-needed cash into the local economy. Third of all, EU Funding is available and fifth of all, oh hang on, did I miss out fourth of all?"

Following intense lobbying by the local council and in order to promote regional development, the center will be located in Ventspils rather than Riga where a recently-closed fish cannery will be converted to include a lecture hall, teaching rooms, an exact replica of the Saeima debating chamber where students can hone their skills, a spa and four star restaurant at a cost of around €50 million.

The Political Center of Excellence is expected to open its doors to the public - or rather to the political elite - on April 1 next year if, as expected, the plans are unanimously approved in a fast-track Saeima session.

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