National Alliance: a profile

NA pre-election newspaper “Nacionalas Zinas”, May 2017. An article by Edvīns Šnore MP. He quotes a long-dead politician speaking of “once let in a coat, Russian lice will be difficult to get out” and immediately explicitly agrees with him: “Indeed, we see that the USSR-time Russian-speaking immigrants, although permanently smearing Latvia, are not going away. At least, not in the amount the ethnic Latvians want it to happen”. Police refused initiating a criminal case. Mr Šnore wasn’t deprived of his Three Stars Order, or of leadership of the Latvian delegation in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly – just orally reprimanded (the mildest possible punishment by the parliamentary ethics commission). His statement and the weak reaction to it were criticized by two Council of Europe reports.

As at January 2020, the National Alliance is a co-ruling party with two portfolios in the cabinet and the chair’s position in the Parliament, Ms Inara Mūrniece. It has two MEPs (ECR group) from 8 Latvian ones and 12 MPs from 100. The current head of state, Mr Egils Levits, was proposed as a candidate by the NA and the New Conservative Party (to a large extent, a better-polished split from NA). NA leader is Mr Raivis Dzintars. The party has been formed by merging “All for Latvia!” and “Fatherland and Freedom”/LNNK parties.

NA links with foreign Neo-Nazis as reflected even by state-owned lsm.lv, in 2019: see “Re:Baltica reveals more questionable links of Latvian nationalists”, “Senior National Alliance figure apologises for “cloud” of far-right messages” and “De Facto: British neo-Nazi visited Latvian political party office“.

NA describes Waffen SS Latvian Legion veterans as “Latvian freedom fighters“. Its regular participation in events glorifying them has drawn concern from ECRI.

For criticism of British Tories’ unholy alliance with the NA predecessors in the European Parliament (continued right until the Brexit in January 2020), see: “Latvia’s far right: Inconvenient truths that the Tories ignore“, “Miliband refuses to apologise to Pickles“, “Thousands pay tribute to Latvia’s fallen Nazi troops“, “Conservative Party facing US pressure over links with far-right parties in Europe“.

An English-language article on regular celebrations of the 1934 coup anniversaries by the NA, authored by a reputable journalist and later UN staff Didzis Melbiksis.

Profiles of NA ahead of the 2019 European elections: in French by Jean-Yves Camus, and in English&German by Aleksandr Kuzmin. ENAR & ILGA report on hate speech ahead of the 2014 European elections.

Academic evaluations of NA predecessors: “All for Latvia!” described as “racist” by Nils Muižnieks, later CoE Commissioner for Human Rights: Muižnieks N. Latvia. In: Racist extremism in Central and Eastern Europe. Ed. C. Mudde. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-35593-1 — p. 99. “Fatherland and Freedom”/LNNK described by Jean-Yves Camus as “on the borderline between conservative right and far right” and “an ultra-nationalist party comparable in some respects to the far right which voices anti-Russian feeling” in a report commissioned by ECRI (pages 6 and 30).

Tagged: Tags