Sunday, June 26, 2011

The President-Elect of Latvia, Andris Bērziņš,
must question the validity of his election!

The last knot

The most obvious thing that can be said about the outgoing President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, is that he is a sentimental man. To quote from the link: “…current usage defines it [sentimentality) as an appeal to shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense of reason.

To be criticized for being sentimental does not mean that one questions the patriotism of a patriotic sentimentalist. I do not doubt that President Zatlers is patriotic. However, I do question whether the President—overcome by sentimentalism manifest as inaction—has any sense of what it takes to set the State of Latvia upright again and unify the people who constitute the body of the nation known as Latvia. In effect, I question whether he knows the reasons why for the last four years, he was the President. The public knows, he has struggled with himself with that question. There are some positives.
Indeed, Presidents Zatlers ma
de himself noteworthy when a few years ago, following a demonstration now known as “the umbrella revolution” (also “the 13th of January demonstration”), we heard him vow to ask for the dismissal of the legislative body of Latvia, the Saeima. The President appeared to have overcome his sentimental feelings about the future of Latvia in favour of action. The People would vote on the question in a Referendum or so they were in anticipation of.

Unfortunately, the President reneged on his promise (call it an implied promise), until only a few weeks ago, near the end of his presidential term (it did not look that he would receive the necessary votes to be re-elected to the next term), on the 28th of May, he made his promise to the demonstrators on the 13th of January, 2008, real and asked for the dismissal of the Saeima. If the majority of the electorate agreed with him (in a nationwide Referendum to be held on July 23), then came September 17, there could be popular elections for a new Saeima.
Checking it out

The immediate reaction from the public was ecstatic. Many still are to this day. Nevertheless, the anti-populist voices in the media reacted and were heard almost immediately.

Populism was derided on all fronts. The very force, the popular sovereign, to which the President had just made his appeal ti, was derided as undesirable, surely a constituency of irresponsible elements. The Latvian media breathed the wrath of liberal capitalism. It never mentioned that behind it stood the ad man in the service the so-called  ‘oligarchs’. One show (Jaunā nedēļa / The New Week), made it a point to deride “populism” by declaring itself against it more than three times in rapid fire succession, then filling the other half of the time slot for the show with a pro-nuclear video analysis of Latvia’s future energy needs.

Note that in the Latvian President’s speech (click above link), President Zatlers gives a long list of decisions by the Saeima detrimental to the future of the Latvian State. He begins the list with the Saeima refusal to confer the authority of the “Generāl-Prokurators” of the State to the man chosen by the Latvian equivalent of the Supreme Court in the U.S. (Augstākā tiesa), and ends by mentioning the Saeima acting on behalf of certain private interests and of putting the State in danger of being privatized.
Volodya and Black John

As President Valdis Zatler’s predicted, came June 2nd, the Saeima did not reelect him, but in his place elected a flower on the wall, a complete surprise to the popular sovereign public, one Andris Bērziņš. A former banker, a pensioner drawing the highest pension of anyone in Latvia, a Don Juan of sorts, this narcissist had to yet try becoming the President of Latvia. And the Saeima gave him his wish.

One would think that the popular sovereign public and President-Elect-Out-of-Office would scream foul. What is wrong with calling for President-Elect Andris Bērziņš to refuse to accept his election as valid, and have him and President Zatlers call for an immediate popular elections of the President?

–even if the Constitution does not provide for such a course, and “there is nothing juridicially wrong” with a corrupt (and dismissed) Saeima projecting its corrupt seed onto the future through Andris Bērziņš.

The argument that the election of Andris Bērziņš to the Presidency of Latvia is a corruption of the spirit of the dismissal of the Latvian Saeima by the popular sovereign is surely valid. One may argue about the issue, but one cannot silence it. Mr. Andris Bērziņš should reflect twice about his vainglorious ambitions.

President Valdis Zatlers, on the other hand, ought to forego a farewell garden party and make an outright appeal for President-Elect Andris Bērziņš to refuse to accept the Saeima’s election of himself as Latvia’s President—the day after the public votes in said Referendum to dismiss the existing Saeima from office. To not do so and choose a garden party is choosing to be sentimental.

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