In an article in The Baltic Times, the British Latvian academic Daunis Auers noted the sharp contrast between domestic parliamentary elections last held in October 2002 and the European elections on 12 June 2004.1 In Riga during the last parliamentary election, it was impossible not to know that there was an election and that the major parties were contesting the elections. For example, no one could miss the People’s Party’s bright orange tents and balloons in the Old City and the central parks, nor the army of school children handing out flyers for the Centre Party. By contrast, there was negligible attention to the EP elections. Even Latvia’s most well known Latvian Language paper, Diena, hardly mentioned the EP elections before the end of May. There is little doubt that the timing did not help as it came so recently after the 1 May enlargement. Despite the lack of attention paid to the European elections, the lead-up to as well as the result of the elections have been significant for Latvian politics. This impact is predominantly a result of the flux of Latvian domestic politics within the last year. This chapter discusses several aspects of the Latvian European elections: (i) Latvian political party preparation and participation in the elections; (ii) the EP results; and (iii) the impact on Latvian domestic politics during a time of political instability.
KeywordsPrime Minister National Election Parliamentary Election Conservative Party European Election
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