The program of the FHRUL for the 2002 parliamentary elections


The political organizations’ union For Human Rights in United Latvia (FHRUL) is a union of three parties:

The People’s Harmony party,
The Socialist Party of Latvia,
and The Equal Rights Party.

Our goal is a society, based on the principles of social solidarity and Human Rights.

We are for effective economics and just social policy, social integration and consistent Human Rights’ observance irrespective of ethnic origin, citizenship and political convictions of a person.

We have not compromised ourselves with corruption and illegal privatization. Since the Municipal elections of 2001 we have started to work at Riga City Council and other Latvian cities’ councils, solving the problems, built up by the right-wing parties for the last ten years.

Socio-oriented parties will come into power as a result of the Parliamentary elections to the 8th Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), and FHRUL sets itself as an object to unite the future coalition government.

Our main goal will be to indemnify through the development of the national economy the Latvian people for the losses, caused by the ill-considered and wrongly implemented reforms. It is necessary to start paying the debts to those categories of Latvian residents, who have lost the most during the reforms: seniors, people of scanty means, students, farmers, teachers, cultural workers, physicians, etc.

National Economy

The national economy shall be aimed at the improvement of each Latvian resident’s living standard.

The State shall choose perspective branches of industry and agriculture for Latvia and to render these a stable and long-term assistance.

The profit tax should be reduced to 10 per cent for small and medium businesses, as well as for the businesses that have a high surplus value, using the Latvian scientific potential.

The State national economy policy shall consist of flexible fiscal policy, regulation and control of monopolies, direct state investments into infrastructure of prime importance, just and open state and municipal contract system, monetary policy, favouring export and transit, observance of the environmental standards.

All the Latvian regions shall have truly equal development opportunities. The State is to give a special support to the socio-depressed regions with high unemployment rate: Latgale, the Northern Vidzeme, and Liepaya town.

It is necessary to provide farmers with the financial and legal support for production and sale equal with that of the European Union’s farmers. The State has to support farming co-operation as well as the intensive and competitive branches of agriculture.

Our government will:

· work out and implement the State program for the creation of new working places, which will halve the actual number of unemployed people during the next Saeima term of office (in four years);

· determine the minimum wage, corresponding to the living wage (which at present is about 90 Ls);

· grant privileges to the enterprises, which create new working places;

· increase goal subsidies and State loans for the traditional branches of the Latvian agriculture;

· guarantee the governmental purchasing from the farmers and agricultural cooperatives with 30 per cent payment in advance;

· establish the State monopoly for the alcohol and tobacco products’ trade;

· implement the program on the increase of the Latvian transit competitiveness;

· taking into account the high unemployment rate and the regional economy crisis, establish a post of the State Minister of Latgale Development.

Social Policy

Latvia shall cancel the reservations, made during the ratification of the European Social charter.

The State social aid must be differentiated, individual, and sufficient to be able to protect poor groups of the society, especially as concerns social grants and housing questions. It is necessary to stop the eviction of families with limited resources out of the lodgings and create cheap municipal housing resources. It is necessary to provide state grants to support the poor people, the payments for public utilities of which exceed a third of the family income.

We stand up for the income-tax decrease for those who have small incomes and for the gradual introduction of the progressive income tax. The minimum wage must correspond to the living wage.

The Law on Pensions must be equally applied to all the retirees, in spite of the time of their retirement. It is not admissible to increase the age of retirement and to discriminate the non-citizens in pension issues.

The social insurance’s and public health service’s State budget shall be intended for the well-being of people, but not for the salaries of the officials.

The State must expand the distribution of medicines free of charge and guarantee the free medical examination minimum for poor residents.

The public health service budget must account for at least 6-8 per cent of the gross domestic product.

The State must take care of families with children. The grants for children must be increased to the crisis living wage level.

Our government will:

· determine the definition of crisis living wage, which must be used for the calculation of pensions and social grants;

· introduce State guaranteed free medical service minimum;

· supply free medicines for the residents, which suffer from chronic diseases and the residents of scanty means;

· restore district hospitals and external-patients’ treatment in the countryside;

· establish a house-building program supported by the State;

· increase the minimum pension to the living wage level and abolish increase in the age of the retirement.

Social Integration

FHRUL is for social integration based on Latvian patriotism and respect of the cultures of all those residing in Latvia.

The State should ensure equal opportunities to all the Latvian residents, regardless of their social and ethnic origin, citizenship or sex.

The State must support fair competition on the labour market without any artificial privileges for certain ethnic or social groups.

The State must grant the Russian language an official status in the municipalities where this language is native for at least 20 per cent of the population.

FHRUL stands for unconditional naturalization of non-citizens who wish to acquire the Latvian citizenship. The first step towards this goal shall be automatic citizenship for those who were born in Latvia, regardless of the year of birth, as well as for the family members of citizens. The naturalization process should be accelerated and simplified.

The right to vote in the municipal elections should be granted to all the permanent residents of the country.

Latvia must ratify without reservations and fairly implement the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

FHRUL proposes to cancel the present restrictions on the political rights of former members of parliamentary opposition of the early 1990s.

Education, Science, and Culture.

The State shall be responsible for the state-financed higher education. It is necessary to increase the state financing of student credit and simplify the system of crediting.

The State must preserve and develop the state and municipally financed secondary education in the languages of national minorities, which are in demand, and, at the same time, it must improve the quality of teaching of the Latvian language.

The State is responsible for the comprehensive cultural development, preserving with solicitude the heritage of the Latvian multi-cultural society and respecting the cultural traditions of all ethnic groups living in Latvia.

We stand for the development of sports as a means of public health improvement and of raising a new generation.

Our government will:

· ensure the state financed secondary education in the mother tongue of national minorities also after 2004;

· obtain the real observance of the Law “On Obligatory Education” and restrict child vagrancy;

· increase student grants twice and increase the state support for higher education;

· provide teachers with the average salary and social guaranties of the state officials;

· increase the financing of libraries and cultural institutions.

The State Foreign and Security Policy

Integration into the European Union is favourable for the Latvian democratic development.

To work out the attitude towards the integration of Latvia into the international defence institutions, it is necessary to consider the recent developments in the world of defence policy.

The state shall gradually avail of the professional army, rejecting the universal military draft.

Latvian foreign policy shall be equally balanced between the Eastern and Western countries.

It is necessary to strengthen good relations with all the neighbouring countries, Russia and Belorussia including.

It is necessary for Latvia to join the European East-Western and South-Northern transport corridors.

Crime prevention is intertwined with solving those social problems, which compel people to earn their living by theft, begging, and drug trafficking.

Corruption among state officials shall be eliminated in order to stop smuggling, commercial and other crimes. It is necessary to create a corruption abatement bureau subordinated only to the Saeima.

It is necessary to improve the quality of work of the law enforcement institutions by drafting corresponding laws and augmenting their financing. The financing of the state police must be increased at the expense of the cut in military expenditures.

Our government will:

· carry out a balanced foreign policy and simplify the visa and the border-crossing regimes with neighbouring countries;

· favour regional co-operation, first of all with the countries of the Baltic Sea region and Nordic countries;

· support a stable and long-term development of the court system, the Office of Public Prosecutor, and the police.

State Administration and Municipalities.

We stand for a faster introduction of the Law on Administrative Procedure. Its principles would allow overcoming the alienation and powerlessness of the people in relations with state administration.

The State administration must ensure honesty and openness in the operation of the State and municipalities, as well as satisfaction of the residents’ daily needs.

The territorial and regional reforms must be realized, taking in consideration good will and the regions, especially the will of the recently established districts. These reforms must be followed by a financing increase of regional infrastructure.

The financial independence and significance of municipalities shall strengthen within the system of state administration.

Our government will:

· implement the European Municipal Charter in full and will protect its requirements from violations;

· start a real fight against corruption, beginning with corruption at the highest state administration level;

· protect the residents’ rights and interests in relations with the State.