Second online talk with candidates and Latvians abroad set for Sept. 11

The second of two online televised discussions allowing voters abroad to hear from parliamentary candidates from Latvia’s leading political parties is scheduled Sept. 11, producers of the telecast have announced.

The moderated discussion, which will feature viewers from abroad calling in questions, will begin at 19:00 hours Latvian time, producers at Rīga-based HansaMedia announced. The telecast will be streamed live on the company’s website,, and is expected to be archived for later viewing.

The Sept. 11 telecast is meant especially for Latvian voters in Canada and the United States.

A similar telecast Sept. 4 was aimed at Latvians living in Europe. Moderated by U.S.-born Latvian journalist Kārlis Streips, the discussion included representatives from Saskaņas Centrs (Harmony Centre), Visu Latvijai! (All for Latvia), Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība (Union of Greens and Farmers), Par Labu Latviju! (For a Good Latvia) and Vienotība (Unity).

More than 1,200 candidates from 13 parties are running in the Oct. 2 parliamentary election. While citizens abroad represent only a small percentage of all potential voters, the Latvian government has made provisions for those outside of the homeland to cast ballots by mail or in person at one of 64 polling stations around the world.

HansaMedia producers noted that in the 2006 parliamentary election, turnout abroad was only 22.38 percent. Thus, they said on the company’s website, it is no surprise that Latvia’s political parties pay little attention to the exile vote.

Organizations in some Latvian communities are promoting the telecast or scheduling group viewings of the Sept. 11 telecast.

In Minneapolis, a viewing is scheduled at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 in the Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church of Minneapolis and St. Paul, 3152 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Members of the local election commission will be on hand with information about the Oct. 2 vote, organizer Jānis Robiņš announced in an e-mail.

The Sept. 4 telecast is archived at

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