Kaimins quits Saeima group of Regional Alliance

Former actor, host of the top-rated and outrageous Sunu Buda (Dog House) videocast, and controversial politician Artuss Kaimins on Wednesday brought the curtain down on his membership in the parliament group of Latvian Regional Alliance (LRA), reported LETA news agency.

Kaimins has released a statement explaining that the LRA has become one of the most fervent supporters of Unity's leader Solvita Aboltina who is striving to become the next prime minister.

"This is not politics, rather a desperate attempt to join the coalition, and I wish to dissociate myself from all that," said Kaimins.

"To my voters, the public image of Aboltina has become a symbol of everything there is to hate in Latvia's politics - arrogance, lust for power, and scheming."

He said that the faction hadn't reacted to the abuses directed to him by Ventspils mayor and kingpin Aivars Lembergs. "It leads me to think that the faction heads agree to Lembergs' opinion," he stated. 

Lembergs had previously stated that it's difficult to imagine Kaimins working in a ministry as "turning state government into a circus - that is too much".

Previously the Latvian Regional Alliance had said that they'd be ready to support an Aboltina-run government, though Tuesday chairman of LRA Mārtiņš Bondars said that they could work in the coalition only if the leading parties wanted change, and that who the Prime Minister is doesn't have anything to do with it.

Kaimins will continue working in the parliament and committees.

Kaimins scored a remarkable result in the 12th Saeima elections. Riding on a wave of popularity as a result of his shock-jock style videocast, he agreed to be added to the LRA party list - provided he was put at the very bottom.

He rose from 35th place on the party's Riga election list to first place, attracting thousands of votes and enabling the party to squeeze over the 5% electoral threshold to gain 8 seats in Saeima.

However, soon after taking up his mandate his popularity, if not his notoriety, took a dip when he was filmed bawling "Don't you know who I am?" in a drunken confrontation in a Riga restaurant, for which he was disciplined by Saeima.

Despite being an unpredictable and sometimes troublesome member of parliament, Kaimins' departure will make any repetition of LRA's success at the polls an uphill task for party leader Martins Bondars.

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