National Alliance (Latvia)

The National Alliance (Latvian: Nacionālā apvienība, NA), officially the National Alliance "All For Latvia!" – "For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK" (Latvian: Nacionālā apvienība "Visu Latvijai!” – "Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK"), is a right-wing populist and national-conservative political party in Latvia.

National Alliance
Nacionālā Apvienība
AbbreviationNA
ChairmanRaivis Dzintars
FounderRoberts Zīle
Founded4 July 2010; 11 years ago (2010-07-04)[1] (electoral alliance)
23 July 2011; 10 years ago (2011-07-23) (party)
Merger of
Headquarters3rd floor, 11 Kaļķu Street, Riga LV-1050
NewspaperNacionālā Neatkarība
Youth wingNacionālās apvienības jauniešu organizācija[2]
Membership (2017)Increase 1,094[3]
Ideology
Political positionRight-wing to far-right
European affiliationEuropean Conservatives and Reformists Party
European Parliament groupEuropean Conservatives and Reformists
Colours  Maroon
  Gold
Saeima
12 / 100
European Parliament
2 / 8
Government of Latvia
3 / 14
Riga City Council
4 / 60
Mayors
6 / 43
Website
nacionalaapvieniba.lv

It was formed as an electoral alliance for the 2010 parliamentary election between the For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and All for Latvia! parties. It won eight seats, placing it fourth among all parties. It merged into a single political party in July 2011 under the leadership of Gaidis Bērziņš and Raivis Dzintars. In the October 2014 election, it again increased its seats to seventeen, and entered a centre-right coalition, along with Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers under Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. It has participated in every government of Latvia since the 2011 parliamentary election to prevent Harmony Centre from leading the coalition. It is also a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists and its two MEPs, Roberts Zīle and Dace Melbārde, sit in the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament. The party controls the town and city governments of Ogre, Smiltene, Iecava, Aizpute, Priekule, Engure, Saulkrasti, Koceni and Rundale. In 66 municipalities the party is represented by 166 deputies.

HistoryEdit

It was founded as an electoral alliance in 2010 by the national-conservative For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and the far-right All For Latvia! after the two parties were refused entry into the Unity alliance.[4][5] The loose alliance was transformed into a unitary party on 23 July 2011.[6] In the 2010 election to the Saeima, the alliance won 8 seats.[7] As part of the outgoing government it was involved in negotiations after the election to renew the coalition, but was vetoed by the Society for Political Change,[8] which had not been part of the government but had joined the Unity alliance.

In May 2011, the party supported the re-election of Valdis Zatlers as President of Latvia in the 2011 election.[9] The alliance became a single united party on 23 July 2011. At the 2011 parliamentary election, the National Alliance won fourteen seats – an increase of six on the previous year – making it the fourth-largest party. After extensive negotiations with an aim to avoid Kremlin supporting powers from gaining seats in government,[10][11] it joined a centre-right government with Unity and Zatlers' Reform Party, with the party's Gaidis Bērziņš as Minister for Justice and Žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende as Minister for Culture.[10]

On 23 August 2013, All for Latvia! wing of National Alliance signed the Bauska Declaration together with Conservative People's Party of Estonia and Lithuanian Nationalist Union calling for a new national awakening of the Baltic states and warning about threats posed by cultural Marxism, "postmodernistic multiculturalism", "destructive liberalism" and Russian imperialism.[12]

The merging period of the two founding parties was ended on the National Alliance's third congress on 7 December 2013, finally creating one unitary party.[13][14]

In October 2014 Saeima election, party gained 17 seats in Parliament, and entered a centre-right coalition, along with Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers under Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.[15] The party succeeded to include several points in the Declaration of the government and coalition treaty: to begin gradual Latvianization of the bilingual educational system starting from 2018; to limit the residence permit trading programme established in 2010, increase state support to family values and the demography programme; to make national identity, Latvian language and culture as a priority as it is defined in the Constitution of Latvia; opening of natural gas market in order to end the Gazprom monopoly in the Latvian energy market; veto rights to any decision which could weaken the positions of the Latvian language.[16]

After 2018 parliamentary election, hung parliament was elected.[17] In it no party or their coalition had numbers for coalition. Due to this, coalition talks and government formation took three months to complete.

On 7 January 2019, Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš was tasked by Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis with forming the next government, following the failures of previous nominees Bordāns and Gobzems in a contentious negotiation process.[18] Kariņš took office as prime minister on 23 January 2019, leading a broad centre-right coalition of five conservative and liberal parties that includes KPV LV, New Conservative Party, Development/For!, National Alliance and New Unity.

Ideology and policiesEdit

The National Alliance is a national-conservative party and,[19] it is socially conservative.[20] in its platform the National Alliance lists its core priorities as protecting Latvian language, culture and heritage. An economically liberal party,[21] it takes a strongly pro-West stance in foreign policy, supports economic reform to promote business competition and calls for a "non-taxable minimum pension" for all citizens.[22] It is a right-wing party,[7][23][24][25] that is positioned towards the far-right on the political spectrum.[26][27][28]

Since the beginning of the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in 2014, the party takes a very pro-Ukrainian position regarding the conflict and has suggested a stricter anti-Kremlin position for the Latvian government[29][30] and Council of Europe.[31]

It has taken right-wing populist positions,[32][33] and it actively opposes immigration – both the residence permit selling programme and the refugee quota system intended by EU, emphasizing the already large number of Soviet-era settlers in Latvia.[34] It has compared the modern advocates of immigration with collaborators, who supported the planned mass immigration under the Soviet occupation.[35] The Party was the only one of the leading coalition partners which completely refused both the refugee quota system, as well as voluntary acceptation of refugees.[36][37] In August 2015, the Party took part in organizing the massive anti-immigration rally in Rīga.[38] This anti-immigration position was accented in the annual foreign affair debates in Saeima, also turning against liberal immigration policy and political correctness in EU.[39]

In foreign policy, the party wants to participate in what it calls the "Western geopolitical space." It supports Latvian membership of NATO.[22] However, the party takes a eurosceptic or "Eurorealist" stance towards the EU by opposing bureaucracy and centralization of powers around Brussels, arguing that the EU should limited to a trading block as opposed to a bureaucratic political organization, and that member states must work to fight crime and defend European culture together, but not impose on domestic decision making and political sovereignty of nations and abandon what the party calls the EU's "everything for all" approach.[40] Following Brexit, the National Alliance stated that the UK's decision must be respected and the country needs to remain an important ally of Europe and Latvia, and that the EU must not retaliate against Britain and instead pursue a free trade agreement with Britain.[40]

In 2021, the party submitted to the Saeima a draft law regarding an amendment to the Constitution, which intends to strictly define the concept of family as a union of a male and a female person.[41]

Election resultsEdit

SaeimaEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Government
2010 Roberts Zīle 74,029 7.84 (#4)
8 / 100
Opposition
2011 Raivis Dzintars 127,208 14.01 (#4)
14 / 100
  6 Coalition
2014 151,567 16.72 (#4)
17 / 100
  3 Coalition
2018 Roberts Zīle 92,963 11.08 (#5)
13 / 100
  4 Coalition

Riga City CouncilEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/–
2013 40,920 17.86 (#2)
12 / 60
2017 23,135 9.25 (#4)
6 / 60
  6
2020 16,435 9.64 (#4)
7 / 60
  1

European ParliamentEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/–
2014 Roberts Zīle 63,229 17.56 (#3)
1 / 8
2019 77,591 16.49 (#3)
2 / 8
  1

See alsoEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • Auers, Daunis; Kasekamp, Andres (2013). Comparing Radical-Right Populism in Estonia and Latvia. Right-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. London/New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 235–248. ISBN 978-1-78093-343-6.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "VL/TB/LNNK dibināšanas kongresā sola stiprināt latviešu valodu". Delfi. 4 July 2010. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Par mums - Jaunieši - Nacionālā apvienība VL-TB/LNNK". National Alliance. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  3. ^ "'Nacionālā Neatkarība', parties monthly newspaper" (PDF) (in Latvian). p. 8. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  4. ^ Kaža, Juris (14 August 2018). "Who is who in upcoming Latvian parliamentary elections". Re:Baltica. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  5. ^ Greenhalgh, Nathan (31 May 2010). "Unity forgoes merging with far-right". Baltic Reports. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Latvian political parties undergo major upheaval", The Baltic Times, 12 July 2011, retrieved 18 July 2011
  7. ^ a b Bogushevitch, Tatyana; Dimitrovs, Aleksejs (November 2010). "Elections in Latvia: status quo for minorities remains" (PDF). Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe. 9 (1): 72–89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  8. ^ Strautmanis, Andris (25 October 2010). "Veto ousts nationalists from new government; 2 parties remain in talks". Latvians Online. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Supporters line up behind Zatlers". The Baltic Times. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Raivis Dzintars: triju latvisko partiju koalīcija ir reāla". Kasjauns.lv. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Reboot in Riga". The Economist. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Bauska Declaration". National Alliance. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Latvian Saeima approves of the new Straujuma government". The Baltic Course. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  16. ^ Arnolds Lāns (22 January 2014). "NA panāktais koalīcijas līgumā un valdības deklarācijā". National Alliance. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  17. ^ "13th Saeima elections: The parties (Part 1)". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Krišjānis Kariņš nominated to be Latvia's next Prime Minister". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  19. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Latvia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Detail". Bti-project.org. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  21. ^ E. L. (18 September 2011). "Snap election falls flat". The Economist. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  22. ^ a b "Nacionālās apvienības VL-TB/LNNK programma".
  23. ^ "Pro-Russia party wins most votes in Latvia election". BBC News. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Pro-Russia party led by young mayor poised to win historic Latvian election". The Washington Post. 18 September 2011. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  25. ^ Ijabs, Ivars (October 2018). "2018 Parliamentary Elections in Latvia" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Foundation.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ Auers; Kasekamp, Comparing Radical-Right Populism in Estonia and Latvia, pp. 235–236
  27. ^ Martyn-Hemphill, Richard (7 December 2015). "Latvia Government Falls as Prime Minister Quits". The New York Times (in American English). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  28. ^ Stöss, Richard (2017). Trade unions and right-wing extremism in Europe (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Foundation. ISBN 978-3-95861-836-7.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "Jāņa Dombravas runa, Saeimas ikgadējās ārlietu debatēs pārstāvot NA frakcijas viedokli". Nacionalaapvieniba.lv. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  30. ^ "Edvīns Šnore EDSO PA nosoda Krievijas agresiju un aicina Ukrainai sniegt militāru palīdzību". National Alliance. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  31. ^ "We must strongly support Ukraine and the observation of international law - Murniece". The Baltic Times. 26 October 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  32. ^ Pausch, Robert (4 February 2015). "Populismus oder Extremismus? – Radikale Parteien in Europa". Die Zeit. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  33. ^ Wodak, Ruth (2013). Right-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse. A&C Black. p. 246.
  34. ^ "NĒ – bēgļu kvotām". Nacionalaapvieniba.lv. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  35. ^ Eglājs, Ritvars. "The new pro-migrant propaganda is just like the old one". National Alliance. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Majority of Latvian politicians are against refugee quotas". Baltic News Network. LETA. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  37. ^ "Latvian government adopts position on refugees". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  38. ^ "Nationalists plan anti-refugee protest". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  39. ^ "Latvia has the duty to save Europe from drowning in the swamp of political correctness - National Alliance's opinion in debates about annual report on foreign policy 2015". National Alliance. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  40. ^ a b "ĀRPOLITIKA". Nacionālā apvienība VL-TB/LNNK.
  41. ^ "National Alliance wants Constitution of Latvia to strictly define 'family'".

External linksEdit