Tatjana Ždanoka

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Tatjana Ždanoka
Tatjana Ždanoka press photo.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 2004
Constituency Latvia
Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia
Member of Parliament
for Riga 40th district
In office
May 1990 – June 1993
Personal details
Born (1950-05-08) 8 May 1950 (age 64)
Riga, Latvia
Citizenship USSR (until 1991)
stateless (1991—1996)
Latvia (since 1996)
Political party Communist Party of Latvia (1971—1991)
Equal Rights/ForHRUL (since 1993)
Other political
affiliations
European Free Alliance
Alma mater University of Latvia
Profession mathematician
Awards Orden of Friendship.png

Tatyana Arkadyevna Zhdanok, (Russian: Татья́на Арка́дьевна Ждано́к; Latvian: Tatjana Ždanoka), born May 8, 1950 in Riga, is a Latvian politician and Member of the European Parliament. She is co-Chairperson of the Latvian Russian Union and sits with the European Greens–European Free Alliance group. She was one of the leaders of the Interfront, a political organization opposing Latvia's independence from the Soviet Union and market reforms. She remained active in the Communist Party of Latvia after January 1991, when the party leadership called for a coup against the elected government of the Latvian SSR (in opposition to democratic reforms and a restoration of independence). She is prohibited from nominating for election to the Latvian Parliament or local councils under Latvian law due to her former allegiance with the Communist Party after January 1991. She is (with Alfrēds Rubiks) in the peculiar position of being restricted to Europarliament elections.[1] Zhdanok has been co-chairperson of the LRU and its predecessors since 2001.

Biography[edit]

Born in Riga, Zhdanok is of Latvian Jewish origin, coming from a family decimated by Latvian Nazi collaborators during World War II.[2]

Zhdanok became politically active in the late 1980s, at first a member of the Popular Front, she soon became one of the leaders of the Interfront, a political organization opposing Latvia's independence from the Soviet Union and market reforms. Prior to that, she taught mathematics at the University of Latvia, where she received her doctorate in mathematics in 1992. In 1989, she was elected to the Riga city Soviet, and in 1990, to the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR. Zhdanok was also active with the Communist Party of Latvia.

From 1995 till 2004 Zhdanok was co-chairperson of the Latvian Human Rights Committee (a member of FIDH).[3] She has also been one of the leaders of Equal Rights since it foundation in 1993 and of the For Human Rights in United Latvia alliance.

After Latvia regained independence, Zhdanok was banned from running for the Latvian parliament Saeima and deprived of her seat on Riga city council in 1999, because she had remained active in the Communist Party after the party leadership called for a coup against the elected government of the Latvian SSR in January 1991. Subsequently she sued Latvia in the European Court of Human Rights.

With the court case pending, the Latvian parliament decided not to impose restrictions on former members of the Communist Party in the 2004 European Parliament elections. Zhdanok was elected to the European Parliament in June 2004 and won the court case a few days later with a margin of 5-2. Latvia appealed the decision to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that Latvia's emergence from totalitarian rule brought about by the occupation of Latvia had not been sufficiently taken into account, and on March 16, 2006, the court ruled 13-4 that Zhdanok's rights had not been violated.

In 2005 Zhdanok became one of the founders of the EU Russian-Speakers' Alliance.[4]

In 2004, she ran successfully for MEP as a candidate of the largest Russian political bloc in Latvia.[5] She also won a seat in 2009.[1] In the European Parliament she is a member of the fraction The Greens–European Free Alliance.

Ždanoka took part in the election observation of the controversial Crimean referendum in 2014.[6] In May, she suggested to the European Council to classify Ukrainian political bloc Right Sector as a "terrorist organization."[7]

A submission has been by the Latvian state prosecutor to investigate Ždanoka for treasonous activities against Latvia and other sovereign states. Her affiliations with post-Soviet communist organisations are public record («Sutj Vremenji» «Суть Времени»)The organisations manifest clearly claims the goal is to re-instate the old Soviet Empire back into the former Soviet countries by any means necessary. [8]

Criticism[edit]

The Jamestown Foundation's Vladimir Socor has called her a "radical" opposed to Latvian national statehood.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]