Social Democratic Party "Harmony"

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Social Democratic Party "Harmony"
Sociāldemokrātiskā Partija "Saskaņa"
AbbreviationSPDS
ChairmanNils Ušakovs
Vice ChairmanJānis Urbanovičs
Founded21 November 2009 (21 November 2009)
(cooperation agreement)
10 February 2010 (10 February 2010) (party)
Merger ofNational Harmony Party
New Centre
Social Democratic Party
HeadquartersMaskavas iela 4 Riga LV-1050
Youth wing"Restart"[1]
Membership (2017)3,653[2]
IdeologySocial democracy[3]
Russian minority politics[4]
Political positionCentre-left[4]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours     Red
Saeima
23 / 100
European Parliament
0 / 8
Website
saskana.eu

The Social Democratic Party "Harmony" (Latvian: Sociāldemokrātiskā Partija "Saskaņa", SDPS, Russian: Социал-демократическая партия «Согласие»),[nb 1] also commonly referred to as Harmony (Saskaņa), is a social-democratic[3] political party in Latvia. It is the main catch-all party of the centre-left in Latvian politics. The party was founded in 2010 as the merger of the National Harmony Party (TSP) with New Centre (JC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), a breakaway from the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party (LSDSP).[5] At that time, all three were members of the former electoral alliance Harmony Centre. The alliance also included the communist Socialist Party of Latvia.[6] The Daugavpils City Party merged into the party in 2011.[7]

The chairman of the party, Nils Ušakovs is the current Mayor of Riga and was the "Harmony" candidate for the office of Prime Minister of Latvia in 2014. In the Saeima the party has 24 out of 100 seats after polling 23% of the vote at the 2014 parliamentary election. Its parliamentary group is therefore the largest among the six groups in the Latvian Parliament, and the leading opposition group. Internationally, "Harmony" is a member of the Progressive Alliance[8] and the Party of European Socialists.[9] Formerly, its sole MEP Andrejs Mamikins sat in the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament.[9] He defected to the Latvian Russian Union in 2018 and the party is since then unrepresented in the European Parliament.

"Harmony" is currently the governing party on the Riga City Council in coalition with Proud to serve Riga, the successor to the centre-right Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way which dissolved in 2011. "Harmony" is the largest party seeking to represent the Russian-speaking population of Latvia.

On social policy, the party contains strong conservative elements in line with its voter base and setting it apart from the contemporary European social-democratic mainstream.[10][11] The parliamentary membership is not uniformly socially conservative.[12]

International relations[edit]

The party has strong ties with the Russian parties, in particular with United Russia (with which Harmony had a cooperation Agreement for many years) and A Just Russia. These ties were strongly criticized by Latvian liberals and nationalist parties, who have consequently ruled out the possibility of an alliance with Harmony.[13]

The party has been a member of the Progressive Alliance since its inception and was an observer member of the Socialist International from 2014 until its withdrawal in 2017.[14]

In an attempt to improve its image, in 2018 Harmony terminated its cooperation agreement with United Russia and requested to be admitted in the Party of European Socialist; PES granted Harmony a temporary member status, to be confirmed by next party european congress.[15]

Election results[edit]

Parliament (Saeima)[edit]

year votes % seats +/– Government
2010 251,397 26.6
24 / 100
[a]
2011 259,930 28.4
28 / 100
Increase 4 [b]
2014 209,887 23.0
24 / 100
Decrease 4
2018 167 117 19,8
23 / 100
Decrease 1
  1. ^ Harmony Centre list won 29 seats - 4 went to SPL - 1 to DCP
  2. ^ Harmony Centre list won 31 seats - 3 went to the SPL

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2014 57,863 13.0 (#3)
1 / 8

Symbols[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The party officially translates its name as Social Democratic Party "Concord"
  1. ^ TV NET/News/Latvia/Harmony establishes youth organization, TV NET (www.tvnet.lv), retrieved on 13 March 2015
  2. ^ "What's up with Latvia's feeble civic engagement?". LSM.lv. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2014). "Latvia". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b University College London (8 October 2014). "Latvia's elections: Can there be harmony without Harmony?". UCL SSEES Research Blog. University College London. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  5. ^ Tom Lansford (8 April 2014). Political Handbook of the World 2014. SAGE Publications. pp. 811–812. ISBN 978-1-4833-3327-4.
  6. ^ Kaža, Juris (14 August 2018). "Who is who in upcoming Latvian parliamentary elections". Re:Baltica. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ http://www.delfi.lv/news/national/politics/daugavpils-partija-ieklaujas-saskana-sc-veidos-divi-speki.d?id=36390563
  8. ^ http://progressive-alliance.info/participants/
  9. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  10. ^ "Opposition Saskaņa party reveals economist and preacher as spearheads". 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  11. ^ "Saeima approves lessons in 'constitutional morality' for schoolchildren". 2015-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  12. ^ "Parliament of Latvia rejects petition for partnership legislation". 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  13. ^ "Latvia's Harmony party: no plans to end agreement with Putin's United Russia". www.baltictimes.com. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  14. ^ "Socialist International - Progressive Politics For A Fairer World". www.socialistinternational.org. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  15. ^ "Will 2018 be the year in which Harmony takes power in Latvia?". www.robert-schuman.eu. Retrieved 2018-10-09.

External links[edit]