13 parties field 1,200 candidates for Oct. 2 parliamentary election

A total of 13 political parties or coalitions in Latvia will field more than 1,200 candidates in the Oct. 2 parliamentary election, the Central Election Commission in Rīga announced Aug. 3 after the filing period closed.

While the number of candidate lists is the lowest since the nation renewed its independence, the number of candidates is the highest, according to data compiled by the commission. With 100 seats in the Saeima, that means there are 12 candidates vying for each spot.

Of the 13 lists of candidates, just six are from singular political parties. The rest are from coalitions of parties.

The greatest number of candidates, 375, are running in the Rīga election district. Vidzeme has 298 candidates; Latgale, 207; Zemgale, 191; and Kurzeme, 168.

Parties fielding candidates include:

  • The center-left Saskaņas Centrs, which was the first to file.
  • The leftist Par cilvēka tiesībām vienotā Latvijā.
  • The pro-business and reformist Par Prezidentālu Republiku, a new party.
  • The conservative coalition Par Labu Latviju!, whose five members include Tautas partija, Latvijas Pirmā partija, Ogres novadam, Vienota Rēzekne and Latgales tauta.
  • The centrist coalition Vienotība, which is composed of Jaunais laiks, Pilsoniskā savienība and Sabiedrība citai politikai.
  • Ražots Latvijā, another new pro-business political coalition. It consists of Ražotāja Latvija, Demokrāti.LV and Latvijas kustība Solidaritāte.
  • The conservative Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība.
  • The socialdemocratic coalition Atbildība, which includes Latvijas Sociāldemokrātiskā strādnieku partija,  Mūsu zeme, Sociālā taisnīguma partija and Latvijas Atmoda.
  • The new centrist party Tautas kontrole.
  • The nationalist coalition Visu Latvijai!, which includes the party by the same name and Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK.
  • The Christian democratic Kristīgi Demokrātiskā Savienība.
  • The nationalist Daugava-Latvijai, which until mid-July was known as Tēvzemes nacionālo spēku savienība.
  • Pēdējā partija, a group that does not expect to see its candidates elected, but wants to generate discussion about political issues.

The commission will meet Aug. 4 to certify the candidate lists of Kristīgi Demokrātiskā Savienība, Daugava-Latvijai and Pēdējā partija. The other 10 lists have already been certified.

Six parties fielded 115 candidates, the maximum allowed. Pēdējā partija fielded just 38, the smallest number of candidates.

According to election commission statistics, of the total 1,239 candidates, 888 (71.7 percent) are men. Nearly 80 percent of candidates have a college education. The youngest candidate is 21 years old, but the oldest is 86.

Nearly 73 percent of the candidates are ethnic Latvians, while 8.7 percent are ethnic Russians. Other ethnicities represented are Armenian, Belarussian, Estonian, German, Jewish, Karelian, Lebanese, Lithuania, Liv, Moldovan, Polish, Roma, Ukrainian, Uzbek. A total of 14.3 percent of candidates did not report their ethnicity.

Seven candidates have dual citizenship: four American, one Australian, one Canadian and Venezuelan, and one Swedish.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “13 parties field 1,200 candidates for Oct. 2 parliamentary election

  1. Conspicuous by it’s absence… is the late David Sutch’s Official Monster Raving Loony Party! (David Sutch who died in 1999 was better known as Screaming Lord Sutch: (see http://www.omrlp.com or WikiPedia)… O.K. this is a joke comment… but why can’t they have just two or three parties like a normal country!

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