March 28, 2009
Five people with dual citizenship are among Latvia’s candidates for the European Parliament, according to data collected by the Central Election Commission in Rīga. The election is scheduled June 6.
The European Parliament election will be held concurrently with municipal elections, the commission has announced. All 27 member states of the European Union will be voting for seats in the European Parliament. Latvia has eight seats to fill.
Pēteris Viktors Zilgalvis and Aivars Ivars Juris Sinka are among the 13 candidates from the Civil Union (Pilsoniskā savienība) party. Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Liene Liepiņa and Jānis Jāzeps Dimants are among the 16 candidates offered by New Era (Jaunais laiks).
Zilgalvis, born in 1964, holds Latvian and U.S. citizenship. He lives in Belgium and works for the European Commission. Zilgalvis has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles and law degree from the University of Southern California.
Sinka, born in 1960, has Latvian and British citizenship. Sinka lives in Rīga, where he is an information technology strategy consultant with the Capgemini firm. He is member of the central board of the veterans welfare group Daugavas Vanagi and a member of ELJA50. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Trent Polytechnic (now known as Nottingham Trent University).
Kariņš, one of Latvia’s better known politicians, holds Latvian and U.S. citizenship. Born in 1964, he now lives in Rīga. He is a member of the Saeima and serves on the board of New Era. Kariņš has a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Liepiņa, born in 1957, has Latvian and Swedish citizenship. She is a homemaker living in the Cēsis region. Liepiņa has a degree in nursing from the Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall and a degree in social work from the Attīstība Higher School of Social Work and Social Pedagogics in Latvia.
Dimants, born in 1937, is a gynecologist in private practice in Minnesota. He has Latvian and U.S. citizenship and is an active member of the Latvian community in the Twin Cities. He earned his medical degree in 1962 from Iowa State University.
So far, eight parties have submitted candidate lists. Besides New Era and the Civil Union, parties vying for seats in the European Parliament election are For Fatherland and Freedom / LNNK (Tēvzemei un Brīvībai / LNNK), the Union of Greens and Farmers (Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība), the Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party (Latvijas Sociāldemokrātiskā strādnieku partija), the Society for Political Change (Sabiedrība citai politikai), the People’s Party (Tautas partija) and For the Homeland! (Par dzimteni!).
The deadline to submit candidate lists is April 2.
Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000-2012 he was editor of the website.