Santa Claus ponders PM hopefuls' chances

Very much in the manner that Latvia's political parties have been asked to draw up proposals for the vacant position of Prime Minister, eminence rouge Santa Claus is also renowned for making a list and checking it twice. 

According to a survey by the SKDS pollster, the parties' reluctance to nominate anyone until after Christmas may have an explanation beyond apathy - fear that they will not find any presents beneath the Christmas tree.

Asked which people were most likely to be subject to Santa's sanctions, members of the public named Prime Ministerial wannabe Solvita Aboltina as the naughtiest girl in class despite her red hair giving her some resemblance to one of Santa's little helpers.

18% of the public said she would be left crying beneath the mistletoe.

Second on the list was outgoing PM Laimdota Straujuma, with 14% of the population saying the world's most famous bearded courier should withhold delivery of gifts - thought to include a nice pair of slippers - in her case.

Also classed as naughty boys are Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (5%) and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (4%) who look likely to miss out on the gifts of, respectively, a Sim City computer game and a toy plane which they put on their Christmas lists some months ago.

Some 28% of respondents said it was difficult to say who should be redacted from Santa's list - probably a wise policy to avoid being classed as a snitch and suffering personal present deprivation as a result.

Indeed fear of Santa's displeasure is a very real phenomenon with sources close to the North Pole - a current geopolitical hotspot - telling LSM the world's most famous bearded logistics expert is also at an advanced stage in his vetting of Latvia's Prime Ministerial candidates.

A source codenamed 'Rednose' suggests the dictatorial distributor is "going to find out who's naughty or nice" by any means necessary using the latest cyber-surveillance methods. He even knows when people are sleeping or awake - particularly valuable information given the tendency of Saeima members to nod off during parliamentary sessions.

It is not clear whether NATO's STRATCOMCOE center in Riga is involved in the security checks, but its headquarters is painted a suspiciously Christmassy white.

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