Who are the New Conservatives' new MPs?

Take note – story published 5 years ago

The New Conservative Party (JKP) won 16 mandates in the Latvian 100-seat chamber. For about half of them, it will be their first political experience. This is the first installment from an LTV series about some of the less-known incoming MPs of the new Saeima.

Reinis Znotiņš is just 26 and he'll be the youngest deputee in the 13th Saeima. He has spent several years in the US learning about the start-up environment. Znotiņš thinks his experience will help him work at the parliament.

"As far as I know, the previous Saeima had no one with work experience in tech. Therefore I think that my contribution and my world-view, which has been shaped by work in the US and Latvia as well as studying in the Netherlands, may bring in a lot of new energy," he said.

Znotiņš wants to make government more modern by using technology. His goal is to ease life for businesses, streamlining document signing and so on.

Other JKP parliamentarians also stress the fight against bureaucracy as a priority. "It's just that I see what are the shortcomings in matters of bookkeeping. I could easy bookkeeping for small companies so that they have it easier paying taxes," said Uldis Budriķis, another new MP.

Normunds Žunna is another MP who says he'll protect the interests of businesses. He has worked in several business associations, including the Latvian Commerce Association.

JKP's interests in education will be represented by MP Anita Muižniece. She's an English teacher at the tiny Daugmale school. She wants to protect at least some of the smaller schools from closure under the ongoing education reform. "I think this matter should be approached by objective criteria concerning quality, not in a quantitative manner by setting the number of students in a classroom and cutting as if by a knife," she said.

JKP deputees stress that they will continue meetings with their electorate. "Our election campaign was a great example...all the work we did was our own, as we went on the streets and met people, explaining them things and telling them about our ideas and communicating directly," said Znotiņš.

The party will be represented in the Saeima with newcomer Juris Rancāns, an investigator at the State Revenue Service, as well as educator Ilga Šuplinska and economists Gatis Eglītis and Tālis Linkaits. 

Other incoming MPs from the party have partaken in municipal councils. 

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