Socialist Party of Latvia
|Socialist Party of Latvia|
|Latvijas Sociālistiskā partija|
|International affiliation||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|European affiliation||Initiative of Communist and Workers' Parties|
|European Parliament group||European United Left–Nordic Green Left|
|Politics of Latvia
The Socialist Party of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Sociālistiskā partija, LSP, Russian: Социалистическая партия Латвии) was formed in 1994 as a successor party to the Communist Party of Latvia, which was banned in 1991. In essence, the party is communist; according to the programme of the party, the LSP was founded as an organization upholding socialist ideas after the 1991 events that the party describes as a 'counter-revolutionary bourgeois-nationalist coup'.
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 LSP is more 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 granted to all citizens of USSR living in Latvia in 1990. This would entail a major change in the current law which only gives automatic citizenship to descendants of people who were citizens of the Republic of Latvia before it was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 and requires the Soviet citizens who moved to Latvia between 1940 and 1990 (mainly Russians) to go through a naturalization process.
In the election held on 5 October 2002, the party was part of the For Human Rights in United Latvia (Latvian: 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 European Union 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. In 2011, HC won 31 seats, with Socialists receiving 3 seats (Ar. Rubiks, R. Rubiks and I. Zujevs).
- Official website (Latvian) (Russian)