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New Unity

Unity

Vienot?ba
LeaderArvils A?eradens
ChairpersonJ?nis Rozenbergs
General SecretaryArtis Kampars
Founded6 March 2010 (2010-03-06) (electoral alliance)
6 August 2011 (2011-08-06) (party)
Merger ofNew Era Party,
Civic Union,
Society for Other Politics
HeadquartersZigfr?ds Anna Meierovics Boulevard 12-3, Riga LV-1050
Youth wingVienot?bas Jaunatnes organiz?cija[1]
Membership (2017)2,397[2]
Ideology
Liberalism[4]
Pro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre-right[5]
European affiliation
International affiliationNone
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
ColoursGreen
Saeima
European Parliament
Website
http://www.vienotiba.lv/

Unity[7] (Latvian: Vienot?ba) is a liberal-conservative[8][3]political party in Latvia. It is currently the largest party of the centre-right in Latvian politics. It was the leading party in the Dombrovskis and Straujuma cabinets from its inception in 2010 until February 2016; it is a member of the current coalition since January 2019 with its member Kri?j?nis Kari as Prime Minister. Unity is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

Its current Chairman of the Board since 19 August 2017 is the former Minister for Economics of Latvia, Arvils A?eradens,[9] who succeeded former European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.[10]

History

Origins, governing and coalition party (2010-2018)

The party was founded as an electoral alliance of the New Era Party, Civic Union, and the Society for Political Change on 6 March 2010. It was reportedly founded in a bid to form a counterweight to the left-wing Harmony Centre alliance,[11] which had been strengthening in polls and elections, while the other right-wing parties (People's Party, For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK and LPP/LC) were below the electoral threshold of 5%.[12]

The alliance, led by incumbent Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis from New Era, achieved a victory in the 2010 parliamentary election, despite the austerity measures enacted by his cabinet during the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Unity led the coalition with ZZS as junior partner until 2011.[13][14]

On 6 August 2011 the alliance was transformed into a single political party.[15] In the 2011 snap elections, the party came in third, but held on to the PM post in a coalition with the Zatlers' Reform Party and the National Alliance.

After five years in office, Valdis Dombrovskis resigned as PM after the Zolit?de tragedy in early 2014. He was succeeded by party colleague Laimdota Straujuma, who brought ZZS back into her coalition. For the 2014 general election, Unity announced an electoral pact with the Reform Party, which was later followed by a full absorption in March 2015.[16] The party improved on its previous result, coming in second at the polls and gaining 3 extra seats.

The second Straujuma cabinet, however, lasted only for about a year. After the demise of the Straujuma cabinet in late 2015, the party suffered from internal conflicts and defections of MPs to other political parties, undermining its ratings.[17][18][19][20] Nevertheless, it remained as the largest parliamentary party in the ZZS-led Ku?inskis cabinet and it held 5 ministerial portfolios from early 2016 to 2018.

New Unity alliance (2018-present)

Before the 2018 elections the party formed the New Unity (Latvian: Jaun? Vienot?ba, JV) electoral party alliance (the party itself is still registered as Unity)[21] in April 2018 together with the regional Kuld?ga County Party, For Valmiera and Vidzeme and For Tukums City and County parties, joined by the J?kabpils Regional Party in June.[22][23] The Latgale Party, a previous partner of Unity, initially was uncertain whether to join New Unity, since a faction of the party supported a partnership with the Latvian Association of Regions,[24] ultimately signing a cooperation agreement in July.[25] An offer to join the list was also extended to the liberal Movement For! and the center-left Progressives party, but both parties eventually declined.[26]

While the JV list performed poorly, surpassing the 5% threshold only by 1.7% and becoming the smallest party in the parliament, the subsequent failure of the candidates for PM from the New Conservative Party and KPV LV to form a government by early January 2019 urged the President of Latvia, Raimonds V?jonis, to offer the opportunity to JV's candidate, former MEP Kri?j?nis Kari. The Kari cabinet, consisting of JV, the New Conservatives, KPV LV, Development/For!, the National Alliance was approved by the Saeima on 23 January 2019.[27][28][29]

Election results

Parliament (Saeima)

year votes % seats +/- Government
2010 301,424 31.9
Increase 15 Yes
2011 172,567 18.8
Decrease 13 Yes
2014 199,535 21.9
Increase 3 Yes
2018 56,542 6.7
Decrease 15 Yes

European Parliament

year votes % seats +/- EP Group
2014 204,979 46.2 (#1)
Increase 1 European People's Party
2019 124,193 26.2 (#1)
Decrease 2 European People's Party

References

  1. ^ Vienotiba/Youth, Unity (www.vienotiba.lv), retrieved on 13 March 2015
  2. ^ "What's up with Latvia's feeble civic engagement?". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Latvia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Parliamentary elections in Latvia: the fragmentation of the political scene". Centre for Eastern Studies. 10 October 2018.
  5. ^ "13th Saeima elections: The parties (Part 4)". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ EPP/Latvia[permanent dead link], European People's Party (www.epp.eu), retrieved on 28 March 2012
  7. ^ "Legal entity". Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ Kjetil Duvold (2017). "When Left and Right is a Matter of Identity: Overlapping Political Dimensions in Estonia and Latvia". In Andrey Makarychev; Alexandra Yatsyk (eds.). Borders in the Baltic Sea Region: Suturing the Ruptures. Springer. p. 132. ISBN 978-1-352-00014-6.
  9. ^ "New leader at the helm of Unity party". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "New leader of Latvia's Unity party calls for reconciliation among members, fresh start". The Baltic Times. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ Unity has potential, but faces rocky road Archived 17 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Latviansonline.com (14 March 2010). Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
  12. ^ Harmony Centre is Most Popular Latvian Party | Angus Reid Public Opinion Archived 9 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Angus-reid.com. Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
  13. ^ ""Unity" tops Latvian elections". The Baltic Times. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Kolyako, Nina (3 October 2010). "Unity wins elections in Latvia". The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ Apollo - Zi?as: Izveidota partija «Vienot?ba» Archived 8 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Apollo.lv. Retrieved on 19 September 2011.
  16. ^ 'Vienot?ba' un RP vienojas par kop?gu startu 12.Saeimas v?lan?s, LETA, 27 December 2013, accessed 21 September 2014
  17. ^ "Kampars: Unity is accused of not taking interest in society's woes aka the arrogance created by ?bolti?a's symbol". Baltic News Network. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Unpopular MP booted from Unity party". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Political expert: Unity will not disappear just yet". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ Ka?a, Juris (14 August 2018). "Who is who in upcoming Latvian parliamentary elections". Re:Baltica. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "Legal entity". Uzmumu re?istra t?mek?vietne. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "Unity may become New Unity; Kari may become prime minister candidate". Baltic News Network. 21 April 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ DELFI (16 June 2018). "'Jaunajai Vienot?bai' pievienojas J?kabpils re?ion?l? partija". DELFI (in Latvian). Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ Egle, In?ra (23 May 2018). "Latgales partija ir apjukusi ("The Latgale Party is confused")". Diena.lv. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "New Unity and Latgales party announce joint start at 13th Saeima elections". Baltic News Network. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ ""Par!" neiesaist?sies "Vienot?bas" pied?v?taj? apvien?b? ar re?ionu partij?m". Valmieras Zi?as (in Latvian). 19 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "The Saeima approves the government formed by Arturs Kri?j?nis Kari". The Saeima of the Republic of Latvia. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  28. ^ "Parliament approves Latvia's new coalition government". Xinhua. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  29. ^ "Latvia gets a new government led by Kri?j?nis Kari". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.

External links


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