Socialist Party of Latvia

Socialist Party of Latvia

The Socialist Party of Latvia ( _lv. Latvijas Sociālistiskā partija, LSP) was formed in 1994 in response to the banning of the Communist party after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In its essence, the party is communist.

The current president of the party is Alfrēds Rubiks, once mayor of Riga and later leader of the unionist movement and head of the Latvian Communist Party (CPSU platform). He was imprisoned for six years in 1991 on charges of participating in a coup-d'état against the Latvian authorities in August 1991. He is not one of the party's members in the Saeima (Latvian Parliament) since he is not allowed to contest elections. However, his son Artūrs Rubiks is a member of Saeima, representing the Socialist Party.

The Socialist Party is popular among the Russian-speaking population of Latvia. It places a high priority on issues important to ethnic Russians, such as language and citizenship laws. The party also believes that Latvian citizenship should be open to all people who were citizens of Latvia in 1990. This would entail a major change in the current law which only gives automatic citizenship to descendants of people who lived in Latvia before it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 and requires Russians who moved to Latvia between 1940 and 1990 to go through a naturalization process.

In the election, on 5 October 2002, the party was part of the For Human Rights in United Latvia ("Par cilvēka tiesībām vienotā Latvijā") coalition that won 19.0% of the popular vote and 25 out of 100 seats. (5 of those seats went to Socialist Party.) The party was a member of this alliance of predominantly Russian-speaking parties from 1998 to 2003.

Today, the party's platform is centered on anti-corruption and promoting an independent Latvia that is free from EU centralised power. In 2005, the LSP entered the "Harmony Centre" coalition, which won 17 seats in the 2006 election. 4 of these 17 parliament members are representatives of the Socialist Party.

External links

* [ Official web site] (in Latvian and Russian)

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