Latvian Russian Union
|Latvian Russian Union|
|Leader||Co-chairpersons of its Ruling Board are Tatjana Ždanoka, Jakovs Pliners and Miroslav Mitrofanov|
Russian minority politics
|European affiliation||European Free Alliance (observer)|
|European Parliament group||The Greens–European Free Alliance|
|Politics of Latvia
Latvian Russian Union (Latvian: Latvijas Krievu savienība, Russian: Русский союз Латвии) is a left-wing political party in Latvia, supported mainly by ethnic Russians and other Russian-speaking minorities. Co-chairpersons of its Ruling Board are Tatjana Ždanoka, Jakovs Pliners and Miroslav Mitrofanov.
Latvian Russian Union emphasizes issues important to the Russian community. It supports Russian and Latgalian as co-official languages in those municipalities where more than 20% of native speakers exists, and requests the granting of Latvian citizenship to all non-citizens of Latvia. It supports stronger ties with Russia and was the only major political organization to oppose Latvia's membership in NATO. Economic issues are less emphasized but PCTVL's economic positions tend to be left-wing.
PCTVL (Latvian: Par cilvēka tiesībām vienotā Latvijā, PCTVL; Russian: За права человека в единой Латвии, ЗаПЧЕЛ) was established in May 1998 by three political parties: National Harmony Party, Equal Rights and Socialist Party of Latvia, all of which were mainly supported by Russian-speaking voters. They won 16 out of 100 seats in the 1998 elections and 25 seats in the 2002 elections. As well as winning 13 out of 60 seats on Riga city council in the municipal elections in 2001. After the municipal elections, PCTVL became part of Riga's city government and its member Sergejs Dolgopolovs became the vice-mayor of Riga. At the municipal elections in 2005 the party won 13.68% of the votes and 9 seats on Riga city council.
During this period, PCTVL's most prominent leaders were Jānis Jurkāns, Alfrēds Rubiks and Tatjana Ždanoka. Rubiks and Ždanoka were previously prominent as the leaders of Latvian Communist Party and federalist movement in Latvia in the early 1990s. They are fairly popular in the Russian community but very unpopular among ethnic Latvians. This is one of the reasons for PCTVL remaining in opposition nationally, because any other party could face a massive backlash from their ethnically Latvian voters if they entered into a coalition with Rubiks and Ždanoka.
PCTVL partially broke up in 2003. Tautas Saskaņas Partija was the first to leave the alliance and Socialist Party of Latvia followed half a year later. The remnant of PCTVL had only 6 members of the Latvian parliament (out of 25 that the alliance had before the breakup) but, according to public opinion polls, remained more popular than any of the parties that left the alliance in the 2004 European and 2005 municipal elections. PCTVL was the main force supporting Russian School Defense Staff activities in 2003-2005.
At the elections for the European Parliament PCTVL gained 9.66% of the vote and one seat, held by Tatjana Ždanoka, who sat with the The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group in the European Parliament. It also proposed the idea of a Europe-wide party of ethnic Russians. PCTVL supports a federal Europe, with a "common economical and political space from Lisbon to Vladivostok".
In the 2006 parliamentary elections PCTVL won 6 seats. In 2007 the alliance was transformed into one party. In recent years the party's support has declined as ethnic Russian voters have switched allegiance to Harmony Centre and in the Latvian parliamentary election, 2010, the party lost its representation in the Latvian Parliament.
In 2011, the party launched a popular initiative on amending the citizenship law.
On January 2014 party changed its name to Latvian Russian Union. In the European elections of 2014, it retained one seat in the European Parliament.
- Giulietto Chiesa, an Italian candidate on the ForHRUL list for the 2009 European Parliament elections.
- ЗаПЧЕЛ возглавили Жданок, Плинер и Митрофанов (Russian)
- Official site — also in Russian and Latvian