Five dual citizens among Europarliament candidates

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.

4 thoughts on “Five dual citizens among Europarliament candidates

  1. It is important for the community to know, that Janis J. Dimants, Jr., M.D. has been chairman of Latvian Medical and Dental Association (LAZA) since 1998 and has been a board member since 1991. He also in 1973 established the Latvian Freedom Foundation (Latvijas Brivibas fonds – LBF).

  2. Hi – please note that there are six of us! The sixth candidate with dual citizenship is Gundega Feldmane-Zāne. Gundega is originally from Corby in the United Kingdom and is standing for TB/LNNK. Gundega is very active in the Daugavas Vanagi organisation.

  3. I fully support dual citizens running for office, and I am sure American or other university credentials will be an asset for any potential candidate. However, such an enumeration of degrees and activities in community organisations doesn’t necessarily suggest suitability for work in the EP or inspire confidence. I would be more interested to know about the candidates’ European experience, knowledge of European languages other than English, involvement with political/economic/social realities in Latvia and any prior involvement with European Union institutions and European affairs. We are talking about a multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual ‘community’ that will include Portuguese and Bulgarians, Italians, Finns and Maltese divided up among political groupings, and having to deal with other EU institutions such as the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors and the Council, with all the complications that entails, and eight seats (1 less than last time) to fill out of a total of 736, remember! It’s a thoroughly different kitchen from the Saeima or the PBLA, and a lot of effort is needed to get Baltic, let alone Latvian messages across.

  4. It is high time the issue of dual citizenship be resolved. I was born in Riga in 1941 and live in Australia. I did not know about the 1995 window for dual citizenship, so missed out. Why should I and others like me continue to be discriminated against? PLEASE RESTORE DUAL CITIZENSHIP! At the least for us who were born in Latvia, for goodness sake.

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