Who Owns the State?

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Who Owns the State?

Kam pieder valsts?
AbbreviationKPV LV
ChairmanArtuss Kaimiņš
Founded3 May 2016 (3 May 2016)
Split fromLatvian Association of Regions
Soft Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism[1]
Anti-establishment politics[2]
Anti-corruption politics[3]
Political positionCentre-right[4] to right-wing[1]
European Parliament groupNo MEPs
12 / 100
European Parliament
0 / 8

Who Owns the State? or Whom Does the Country Belong To?[5] (Latvian: Kam pieder valsts?) is a populist,[6][7][8] anti-establishment party in Latvia. It was founded by former Latvian Association of Regions deputy of the Saeima, and since December 2015 independent politician, Artuss Kaimiņš.[9][10][11]


Initially known as just KPV, it was renamed to KPV LV on June 21, 2016, as an association by the same name already existed.[12]

In July 2018, the party experienced a steep rise in ratings, reaching 7.0%, in comparison with 4.4% just a month before, and became the third most popular political party in Latvia. Political scientist Ivars Ījābs credited the case to Kaimiņš, co-chairman of the party Atis Zakatistovs and businessman Viesturs Tamužs being detained by anti-graft police in late June for an alleged illegal party financing that Kaimiņš claimed was politically motivated.[13][14] In August the party's rating rose to 7.5%,[15][16] but then dropped to 6.2% a month later.[17] According to the results of a survey organized by the Union of European Latvians and the web portal latviesi.com, KPV LV was the most popular political party in the Latvian diaspora in September 2018, with nearly 25% in support.[18] The party's prime minister candidate for the 2018 Latvian parliamentary election was attorney Aldis Gobzems.[11]

KPV LV received the second largest number of votes (14.25%) among the parties participating in the 2018 Latvian parliamentary election and earned 16 seats in the 13th Saeima.[19] After Jānis Bordāns of New Conservative Party (which also earned 16 seats in parliament) was unsuccessful in negotiating a governing coalition, President Raimonds Vējonis nominated Gobzems as Prime Minister of Latvia on November 26, 2018,[20][21] however Gobzems was also unsuccessful in forming a government and on December 10 Vējonis withdrew his candidacy.[22][23]

On February 4, 2019 the party board voted to expel Gobzems from the party, with Kaimiņš citing damage to the party's image as the main reason, while Gobzems claimed he was expelled "in the interests of Artuss Kaimiņš".[24] On February 6, 2019 Gobzems was subsequently removed from KPV LV's parliamentary group.[25]

A week later the party's co-chairperson and member of the board Linda Liepiņa stepped down because of KPV LV joining a coalition she did not support and the recent actions of Kaimiņš among other things.[26] After the latest developments in the faction and its vote in the presidential elections she also left the party and its parliamentary faction on May 29.[27] A day later Liepiņa was followed by MP Karina Sprūde who also left the party and its parliamentary faction.[28] The once-candidate for the office of the President of Latvia, MP Didzis Šmits left the main KPV faction on June 13, although he has not yet said that he will leave the party.[29]


KPV LV's position on the European Union has been compared to that of Italy's Five Star Movement – not promoting "hard Euroscepticism" in line with the predominantly pro-EU majority of competing parties, but also taking critical stances of the EU's economic policies, including the euro.[30]

Election results[edit]

Parliament (Saeima)[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Government
2018 120,264 14.25% (#2)
16 / 100
New Coalition government

European Parliament[edit]

year votes % seats +/–
2019 4362 0,92 (#10)
0 / 8


  1. ^ a b c Henningsen, Bernd; Etzold, Tobias; Hanne, Krister (15 September 2017). The Baltic Sea Region: A Comprehensive Guide. BWV Verlag. p. 341. ISBN 9783830517276.
  2. ^ Hegedüs, Daniel; Boros, Tamás; Bartha, Dániel; Cuperus, René; Győri, Gábor; Laki, Gergely; Soós, Eszter Petronella (December 2017). The State of Populism in Europe 2017. Foundation for European Progressive Studies, Policy Solutions, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest. p. 44. ISBN 9782930769103. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Latvia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Who owns the state? Latvian anti-establishment party aims for power". New Eastern Eurppe. 13 November 2018.
  5. ^ "October 2018 Latvian Elections: Voting Information – Part 2". Latvians Online. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018. KPV.LV (short for “Kam pieder valsts” which translates as “Who does the country belong to?”)
  6. ^ Tom Lansford, ed. (2019). Political Handbook of the World 2018-2019. SAGE Publications. p. 4057. ISBN 978-1-5443-2711-2.
  7. ^ "Echoes of the wave of populism: voters of Kaimiņš – young angry males" (in Latvian). Public Broadcasting of Latvia. December 18, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "Nations in Transit 2018: Latvia". Freedom House. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Today is the day of founding for Artuss Kaimins' new political party". Baltic News Network. LETA. May 3, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  10. ^ "Firebrand MP founds new party". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. LETA. May 5, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Kaža, Juris (August 14, 2018). "Who is who in upcoming Latvian parliamentary elections". Re:Baltica. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Artuss Kaimins new party to be renamed". Baltic News Network. LETA. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "MP released from custody, three suspected of illegal party financing scheme". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. June 22, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Krenberga, Odita (July 26, 2018). "Steep rise in ratings for populist party". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  15. ^ Geste, Jānis (August 24, 2018). "August party ratings: KPV LV steady, hopes up for New Unity". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  16. ^ "Popularity of KPV LV party, New Unity kept growing in August". The Baltic Times. August 30, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "Party ratings see support drop for Harmony, grow for newcomers". De Facto. Public Broadcasting of Latvia. September 1, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  18. ^ "Latvian diaspora's most liked political parties include KPV LV, Attīstībai/Par! and Progressive". Baltic News Network. LETA. October 1, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "Latvian election results show shape of new Saeima". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. LETA. October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Gobzems nominated for PM". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  21. ^ "President nominates Gobzems for PM". The Baltic Times. LETA. November 27, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  22. ^ "Gobzems out of the picture as candidacy pulled by President". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  23. ^ "Latvian president calls off KPV LV leader Aldis Gobzems nomination". Baltic News Network. LETA. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  24. ^ "KPV LV expels leader Gobzems from party". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. February 4, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  25. ^ Līcīte, Madara; Semjonova, Ella (February 6, 2019). "Gobzems booted from KPV LV's Saeima faction as well". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  26. ^ "Troubles continue in Latvian anti-establishment party KPV LV". Baltic News Network. LETA. February 11, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  27. ^ "MP Liepiņa to leave KPV LV faction and party over presidential vote". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  28. ^ "Another MP leaves KPV LV party and parliament faction". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  29. ^ ""KPV LV" pamet Roberts Spručs; Šmits izstājas no frakcijas". www.lsm.lv (in Latvian). 2019-06-13. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  30. ^ Petsinis, Vassilis (26 January 2019). "As long as it lasts: Latvia's new coalition government". openDemocracy. Retrieved 1 May 2019.

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