Saldus mayor to observe U.S. election

The mayor of the western Latvian city of Saldus is among nearly 100 people from 76 countries who are observing the U.S. presidential election process firsthand through a program sponsored by the State Department.

Didzis Konuševskis, who also is a board member in the recently formed Civic Union Party (Pilsoniskā savienība), will spend time in Washington, D.C., getting an orientation in the American election process before heading to Minnesota to take a closer look, according to a State Department spokesperson.

He is among fellows chosen to participate in I-VOTE 2008 (International Visitors Observe the Elections). The program runs Oct. 26-Nov. 8 and includes visits to one of five battleground or swing states in this year’s election: Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri or Ohio.

Konuševskis was invited to participate in the program by the U.S. Embassy in Rīga. The I-VOTE program is aimed at emerging leaders ages 30-50.

After observing the Nov. 4 election, the I-VOTE fellows will meet in Boston for a symposium at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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

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