Well-known Latvians establish new political movement

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A group of notable Latvians including former economics minister Daniels Pavļuts, political scientist Marija Golubeva, and businessman Martins Stakis on July 26 signed a manifesto for establishing a new political movement PAR! (FOR!). 

A number of well-known Latvians have already joined the new political movement, including pastor Juris Cālītis, physicist Vjačeslavs Kaščejevs, mathematician Andris Ambainis, media expert Ainārs Dimants, director Dmitrijs Petrenko, policy expert Vita Tērauda and others.

It also includes former Delna (Latvia's Transparency International branch) head Kristaps Petermanis, political fixer Pēteris Viņķelis, historians Gustavs Strenga, Edgars Engīzers, and others. 

Five former Unity MPs that left the party last week have also joined the political movement: Ilze Viņķele, Ints Dālderis, Lolita Čigāne, Andrejs Judins un Aleksejs Loskutovs.

The movement is not yet a party but Pavļuts confirmed it will run in the next Saeima elections. However it is unclear whether the members of the movement will run from the party list.

A party is to be established on August 26 and it remains to be seen who'll be in it and whether the five Unity MPs will indeed choose to join, in which case the party could have some clout in attracting voters. 

The movement's website, mespar.lv, lists the movement's goals, so far offering little in the way of specifics. The manifest includes the goal to achieve a lean (literally-"slender") government, healthcare for all, and outlines things like supporting businesses and technological advances which would presumably be supported by every party in Saeima regardless of their political coloring.

However, as and when the movement does become a party, the track records of the people involved suggest it will be in the centrist/liberal section of the political spectrum.

Speaking of the spectrum, one of the most distinctive aspects of the movement so far is its bright yellow color scheme. The members have also taken the unusual step of publishing their manifesto in multiple languages including English, French and German as well as Latvian and Russian.


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