Nation must accept and respect new president – political analysts

RIGA, May 31 (LETA) – The community has to accept and respect the new President Valdis Zatlers, as he was elected democratically – criticism and protests will only damage the political system in Latvia, believe political analysts surveyed by LETA.

Whatever the nation believes in, people must reconcile themselves to the result of a democratic process, and accept Zatlers as president, said political analyst Ivars Ijabs. He admits, though, that Zatlers will have “hard times” to go through.

“As for uniting the community, he [Zatlers] will have to somehow develop good relations with the democratic intelligentsia, which mostly supported former Constitutional Court Chairman Aivars Endzins,” said Ijabs.

Political analyst Andris Runcis also believes that the community will have to accept the new president. “To stage any protests would not make much sense, he [Zatlers] is our president, and we must respect him,” Runcis said.

However, Zatlers will always be associated with “envelope money” and non-paid taxes. Other countries’ politicians will have information about Zatlers’ past – of course, they will not say anything publicly, but they will certainly know about it, Runcis said.

Political analyst Juris Rozenvalds said that none of the candidates had an impeccable reputation. Rozenvalds also believes that the nation must respect the new president: protests will only damage the political system of Latvia.

And yet, Rozenvalds believes that the community should debate the presidential election procedure, and perhaps consider changing the system for direct presidential elections.

“The procedure must be clear and transparent. When a few “political bureaus” decide the matter, it may pose a threat to democracy,” said Rozenvalds.

As reported, 58 Saeima members voted for Zatlers today, 39 voted for Endzins, one voted against both candidates.

Zatlers is the third president since Latvia regained independence in 1991.