Survey: Jailbird Lembergs good candidate for PM in Latvian residents' eyes

36% of 933 surveyed residents consider the former Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, who is currently in prison after being found guilty on serious bribery and money-laundering charges, to be suitable for the position of Prime Minister, according to a survey conducted by the research centre SKDS, newswire LETA reported October 29.

Lembergs is most often supported by male respondents, respondents aged 45 to 54, respondents living in Latgale, and low-income respondents. Lembergs' support is significantly higher among Russian-speaking respondents.

The current Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) would be supported by 33.9% of those surveyed, more commonly by people with high incomes and Latvian-speaking respondents.

As the third most popular is the former minister and Saeima deputy, now the International Chess Federation's senior director, Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Union of Greens and Farmers), who was identified as suitable by 27.5% of respondents. Support for Reizniece-Ozola has been distributed fairly evenly between social demographic groups. 

Reizniece-Ozola is followed by Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For!), who received 26.4% of the responses, as well as Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (New Unity) with 24.9% support among respondents.

On the other hand, maverick deputy Aldis Gobzems (Law & Order) was recognized as the most inadequate candidate, by 74.6% of those surveyed. Ainars Šlesers (Latvia First Place) was weighed in the balance and found wanting by 72.4%, while Minister of Health Daniels Pavluts (Development/For!) – by 69.5% of respondents.

933 Latvian citizens participated in the survey conducted in October.

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