Magazine to turn to anti-graft office over Harmony candidate interview

Take note – story published 5 years ago

Pēteris Sproģis, Bishop of the Latvian Association of Baptist Parishes, who has been named by Harmony party as its candidate for Latvia’s next president, gave misleading information about his status in an interview with Ieva women’s magazine, the magazine’s representatives claim.

“We believe that Pēteris Sproģis misled us from the very beginning, as a result of which we unknowingly published material that in the context of subsequent developments looks like an election advertisement,” the magazine’s editorial staff said on Facebook.

The magazine’s journalist asked Sproģis for an interview after he had informed the Latvian Association of Baptist Parishes that he would no longer run for the office of bishop. This was the reason for the interview, Ieva said. Sproģis told the Ieva journalist during the interview that he did not know what he would do after resigning from the clerical office.

“The announcement that Harmony party has nominated Sproģis for the presidency came as a complete surprise… And it happened at a time when the Ieva issue with Sproģis’ interview was still on sale,” the magazine’s representatives said.

Ieva representatives indicated that it was highly unpleasant for them to hear groundless allegations of Ieva advertising Sproģis and Harmony.

“We believe that Sproģis and Harmony party have used Latvia’s most widely read magazine to attain their goals,” Ieva said on Facebook.

The magazine said it would report the situation to the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB).

The Žurnāls Santa publishing have been publishing Ieva since September 1997.

As reported, Harmony party named Pēteris Sproģis, Bishop of the Latvian Association of Baptist Parishes, as its candidate for Latvia’s next president.

Harmony, which traditionally relies upon solid support from Latvia's ethnic Russian minority, now identifies itself as a "social democratic" party, though on many issues it is far from the European social democratic mainstream.

Sproģis has also come under fire on Twitter for his choice to side with a party seen by some as pro-Kremlin and pro-Russia, with users doubting Sproģis' newfound political consciousness. 

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