Social democrats blast Foreign Minister for not being conservative enough

Further evidence emerged Monday of the topsy-turvy nature of Latvian politics with the prominent member of a 'social democratic' party lambasting foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics for failing to support a United Nations resolution on "traditional" family values.

In an open letter, Harmony member of parliament Julija Stepanenko is heavily critical of Rinkevics for siding with the likes of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France and Germany in a UN vote on the issue rather than adopting the traditionalist line of the resolution's sponsors: Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Doing so amounted to "voting contrary to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia's policy planning documents and guidelines," Stepanenko said, questioning Rinkevics' right to vote without first consulting various bodies and requesting clarification on what Latvia's objections were.

The vote on the traditional family took place in early July in Geneva and passed by 29 votes to 14 against, with four abstentions.

The document says that "the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."

The resolution was supported mainly by developing nations across Asia, Africa, and South America with the US and all European countries voting against.

Disagreement centered on whether the wording of the resolution was too exclusive with the United States representative saying:

"The text appears to express more concern about the impact that serious human rights abuses can have on the family unit, and social policies aimed at the family, than on the victims themselves. We are deeply disappointed that the text appears to represent a deliberate attempt to prioritize family cohesion and 'The Family,' above human rights of individual family members."

Despite describing itself as a social democratic party, Harmony takes a consistently traditionalist view on the family - throwing it into a bizarre alliance on the subject with the right-wing National Alliance (part of the ruling coalition). 

That means that as well as taking fire from a social democratic party that is socially conservative, the National Alliance which is usually extremely hawkish on Russia, is also criticizing Rinkevics for not supporting a Russian-Saudi Arabian definition of the family.

The net result is that both Harmony and the National Alliance are expressing criticism of Rinkevics' decision not to align Latvia with Russia, Botswana, China, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Congo, Gabon, Venezuela and others.

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