Harmony Centre

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Concord Centre
Latvian: Saskaņas Centrs
Russian: Центр Cогласия
Leader Nils Ušakovs
Founded 2005
Dissolved 2014
Headquarters Riga
Ideology Social democracy[1] Russian minority politics[1]
Political position Left-wing[2]
National affiliation Social Democratic Party "Harmony",
Socialist Party of Latvia
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group S&D ("Harmony")
GUE/NGL (SPL)
Colours Maroon, White
Saeima
0 / 100
European Parliament
0 / 8
Website
http://www.saskanascentrs.lv
Politics of Latvia
Political parties
Elections

Harmony Centre, officially translated as "Concord Centre," (Latvian: Saskaņas Centrs, SC; Russian: Центр Cогласия, ЦC) was a social democratic[3][4] political alliance in Latvia. It constited of up to five political parties: the National Harmony Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia, New Centre, the Daugavpils City Party and the Social Democratic Party. Through a series of mergers they were eventually reduced to two: the Social Democratic Party "Harmony" and the Socialist Party. The alliance dissolved in 2014.

Ideologically a catch-all grouping of centre-left and left wing parties, the alliance also aimed to represent the interests of Russians in Latvia.

History[edit]

Founded on 9 July 2005, Harmony Centre emerged from For Human Rights in a United Latvia, an electoral alliance formed by the National Harmony Party, the Socialist Party and Equal Rights, that partially collaped in 2003. Equal Rights represented the interests of the Russian minority and the Russian language in Latvia. The National Harmony Party, New Centre and and the Daugavpils City Party joined at foundation, the Socialist Party in December 2005 and the Social Democratic Party in January 2009. The alliance aimed to consolidate the Latvian centre-left and promote Latvian-Russian amity as well as represent the interests of Latvia's Russian-speaking population. The first chairman was the head of New Centre Sergejs Dolgopolovs who was replaced in Autumn 2005 by Channel One Russia Journalist Nils Ušakovs.

Finally, in 2010 and 2011 the National Harmony Party, New Centre, Social Democratic Party and Daugavpils City Party merged to form the Social Democratic Party "Harmony", which continued in alliance with the post-communist Socialist Party until 2014.

In it's nine years of existence, Harmony Centre became the most popular political force in the Latvian Parliament, but remained in opposition. Various positions on Latvia's National Question and citizenship, and close relations with United Russia, perceived by the centre-right as incompatible with Latvian national interests, led to the alliance being excluded from government.[5] In 2014 the alliance ruptured, with the Social Democratic Party "Harmony" and the Socialist Party participating separately in the European Election of that year. Subsequently, only the SDP "Harmony" contested the national election in October, while the Socialists became a non-parliamentary party for the first time since 1995.

Election Results[edit]

Parliament (Saeima)[edit]

Election year # of
votes
 % of
votes
# of seats won +/− Notes
2006 130,887 14.5
17 / 100
Increase 17
2010 251,397 26.61
29 / 100
Increase 12
2011 259,930 28.36
31 / 100
Increase 2

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of votes  % of votes # of overall seats won +/− Notes
2009 154,894 19.57
2 / 8
Increase 2

Political positions[edit]

Social democracy, progressive income taxation, minority rights, participatory democracy, internationalisation of higher education, good relations with Russia. Economically, Harmony Centre supported increased social spending, in order to boost the economy and increase general welfare.[original research?]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Parties and Elections in Europe, "Latvia", The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties & Elections. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Foundation Schuman (7 April 2011). Schuman Report on Europe: State of the Union 2011. Springer. pp. 108–. ISBN 978-2-8178-0222-0. 
  3. ^ Sten Berglund (1 April 2013). The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 100–. ISBN 978-1-78254-588-0. 
  4. ^ Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 531–. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1. 
  5. ^ "Latvian Election Shows Gains for Pro-Russia Party". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 

External links[edit]