Socialist Party of Latvia
|Preceded by||Communist Party of Latvia|
|Regional affiliation||Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
|European affiliation||Initiative of Communist and Workers' Parties|
|International affiliation||International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties|
International Communist Seminar
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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 Vladimirs Frolovs. Between 1999 and 2015, the position was held by 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 sons Artūrs Rubiks and Raimonds Rubiks are members of the Saeima representing the Socialist Party, elected on a joint list with Harmony.
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 the former 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 centralized power. In 2005, the LSP entered the Harmony Centre coalition, which won 17 seats in the 2006 election. Four of these 17 parliament members were representatives of the Socialist Party. In 2011, HC won 31 seats, with the Socialists receiving three seats (Artūrs Rubiks, Raimonds Rubiks and Igors Zujevs). The party did not contest the 2014 parliamentary election, however, all three of its outgoing MPs were placed on the SDPS list and were members of the "12th Saeima" (2014–2018). The same strategy was used in the 2018 election, but only Artūrs Rubiks was elected.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2011). "Latvia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
- March, Luke (2008). Contemporary Far Left Parties in Europe (PDF). Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. p. 3. ISBN 978-3-86872-000-6.
- Sociālisti 11.Saeimā(in Latvian)
- "Jāpārskata izglītības sistēmas reformas!". Latvijas Sociālistiskā partija. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
- "13TH SAEIMA ELECTIONS - Elected member alphabetical list". Central Election Commission of Latvia. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
- Official website (in Latvian and Russian)