Monday, June 13, 2011

A corner of Braslava, Latvia, 2011 1

In my previous blog, I gave a list of topics to be discussed at a suggested international conference convened on the invitation of outgoing President Valdis Zatlers. According to media pundits, the President is to leave office on July 7th. Topic 11. asks

11. What happens when the people of Latvia get screwed to the wall by the oligarchs and banks and a parliamentary “democracy” elects a President widely experienced in screwing around?

The screwing around by the allegedly new President Andris Berzins concerns the President’s recognized and not recognized off springs from his apparently numerous love affairs. This topic was, of course, a rhetorical suggestion, an ad-on to other others, and expressed my anger over the Saeima’s secretive and autocratic behavior in electing such an important political figure for Latvia.

While the election of Andris Berzins is clearly a scandalous overstepping of the Latvian people’s sovereign rights to their nation—with the ever present plausible deniability clause applied to the election with a vengeance and utter cynicism—it seems that the election has an excellent chance of being nullified if the people exercise their rights to be the sovereign representatives of Latvia over and above the rights of the oligarch and bank controlled Saeima.
A corner of Braslava, Latvia, 2011 2

As Articles 48. and 49. of the Latvian Constitution (Satversme) state:

48. The President of State shall have the right to propose the dissolution of the Saeima. This shall be followed by a referendum. If in the referendum more than one-half of the votes are cast in favour of dissolution, the Saeima shall be considered as dissolved and new elections shall be proclaimed. These elections shall take place within two months after the dissolution of the Saeima.

49. Upon dissolution of the Saeima, its members shall retain their powers until the newly-elected Saeima has assembled. The former Saeima may only assemble on being convened by the President of State. The agenda for such sittings shall be determined by the President of State.

I am neither a lawyer nor an expert in constitutions, but basing my opinion on the premise that the People are the sovereign owners of any given nation , it is not—as former President Bush of the USA states in the clip—“the relationship… between sovereign entities”, but with one and only one entity—the People. It is the People and not the government who are the sovereigns of a nation, which is why they are over and above the Saeima (Senate) even it is the latter that elects the President of the Nation.
A corner of Braslava, Latvia, 2011 3

Thus, while the new president was decided upon in rooms out of sight to the Latvian People and the victor, this time around,a near utter surprise to the People), it remains true that the Latvian People may not only protest, but demand that in the Referendum (see above clauses) there is a clause that also demands that the allegedly new president resign.

The demand that the new president Andris Berzins resign is based on the premise that his election is not legitimate in a legal sense. The illegitimacy of the election can be proven by arguments coming from several directions.

A most important source of argument is that President Valdis Zatlers’ proposal to dissolve the Saeima (“to propose the dissolution of the Saeima” as Article 48. states) is not only a proposal, but constitutes an indictment also. The actions or inactions of the Saeima read by President Zatlers reveals the Saeima to be a body that has become a de facto foreign body of State. Therefore, contrary to the Constitution (Satversme) “…the Saeima, its members shall [not] retain their powers until the newly-elected Saeima has assembled”.

I would argue that a Saeima under a Presidential indictment cannot elect a new president. Such an election is not only arrogant; it is dictatorial by means of its corruption, and an action meant to annihilate the indicter. In other words, one may conclude that the current Latvian Saeima has presumed for itself powers that may annihilate the State of Latvia as a sovereign entity of the Latvian People.

The above may remain a matter of discussion among legal minds. On the other hand, if a Populist agitation for retaining such rights for the People were exercised with vigor and the Latvian People participate in the Referendum vote in numbers that reach above a simple majority, perhaps going as high as 75%, then the Latvian People will be declaring themselves the sovereign owners of Latvia in a manner they were not able to do at the foundation of Latvia in 1918 due to then prevailing war conditions. Indeed, the failures of the first half of the Latvian nation may be at the root of what causes the inertia affecting the State currently.

To exercise agitation in raising the sovereign self-consciousness of Latvians there is need for a popular campaign. Such a campaign can be waged only with the help of the Latvian Diaspora. The current Saeima, indicted and said (by the President Valdis Zatlers) to be deserving dismissal, will of course argue to the contrary and repress publicity to the best of its ability.

Needless to say, it should be the current President, Valdis Zatlers, who heads the campaign for remaining in office until the results of the Referendum vote are in. Whether he has the guts (aknas) to do so depends to what an extent the Latvian Diaspora perceives the political crisis in Latvia to be existential for Latvia. What do the Latvian People do for their part? Finding themselves in financially and economically existential situation, it should not be difficult to persuade them that the need of their vote, too, is existential.
A corner of Braslava, Latvia, 2011 4

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