About data base

INFORMATION SELECTION CRITERIA ABOUT CANDIDATES

Information about the candidates were selected based on numerous criteria and is reflected in the various sections of the web site within profile of candidates.

Section "Candidate's assesment"

Contains information selected according to the below mentioned criteria that RECEIVED ASSESSMENT by Delna and is indicated on the left side of the profile. The criteria are as follows:

1. CORRUPTION AND OTHER CRIMINAL OFFENCES. According to our understanding, corruption is the abuse of the delegated authority in order to gain private benefit. It is bribery and any other action of those individuals, who have received authority in the public or private sector and who are exceeding their authority that derive from the duties as state officials, privately employed persons, independent entrepreneurs or other relations of similar status, and that are aimed at acquisition of undeserved advantages towards oneself or others.

Corruption and types of corruptive actions are, for instance:

  • cleptocracy (dominance of the power drafting laws, regulations and projects with the main purpose of floating the public resources into private accounts),
  • seizure of power,
  • bribe-taking and bribery,
  • abuse of authority,
  • blackmailing,
  • fraud,
  • „commissions”, especially during procurement procedure.

Also other information regarding Criminal Law has been summarised for the purpose of this criteria, as Delna believes that every crime committed, inflicted or tried according to any section of the Criminal Law has to be regarded as a serious threat to the reputation of the candidate and suitability to the office, and compared to corruptive actions. Regardless, if the sentence has been served and limitation period of the criminal liability has or has not become applicable, power attained by a politician, who has such history, can seriously lower the trust of the electorate in the politics in general and in the integrity of politicians.

The selected information has been separately assessed according to the status of the crime: 

  • The investigation has been initiated or a reason to initiate criminal proceedings exist regarding corruption or other criminal offence according to the Criminal Law,
  • The candidate has been indicted for potential involvement in corruptive activities or other criminal offences,
  • The candidate has been prosecuted for corruption, involvement in corruptive activities or other criminal offences.

2. CONFLICT OF INTEREST.  According to the understanding of the creators of this data base and to the law “On Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials”, the conflict of interest is a situation where in performing the duties of office of the public official, the public official must take a decision or participate in taking of a decision or perform other activities related to the office of the public official which affect or may affect the personal or financial interests of this public official, his or her relatives or counterparties.

The selected information has been separately assessed according to the status of the violation: 

  • The competent authority has initiated an investigation about the potential situation of conflict of interest of the candidate as public official,
  • The competent authority has established that the candidate as public official has been in the situation of conflict of interest and has invited to avert it,
  • The competent institution has fined the candidate for being in the situation of conflict of interest.

3. POOR GOVERNANCE. Since good governance plays an important role in the fight against corruption as it can be the consequence of poor governance, and observing the principles of good governance goes hand-in-hand with the decline of the corruption level, poor governance has been included as one of the assessment criteria of the candidates.

We believe that poor governance is the opposite of the good governance. According to the recommendations of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, hallmarks of the good governance in the public sector is: rule of law, equality, impartiality, proportionality, legal certainty, taking action within a reasonable time limit, participation, respect of privacy (data protection) and transparency.

In the data base following situations have been classified as cases of poor governance:

  • Mismanagement, embezzlement and disproportionate use of public resources,
  • Questionable and undemocratic decision-making,
  • Appointing officials based on political affiliation instead of education, competence and knowledge or based on the results of open competition (so-called „political henchmen"), 
  • Violations of the Public Procurement Law and inobservance of other provisions of the law, if the candidate has been the contractor or the decision-maker,
  • Violations of the regulations regarding financing of political parties and candidates, as well as inobservance of restrictions of pre-election agitation,
  • Administrative resources allocated by the state and EU have been used for private needs, and participation in spending of these administrative resources.

In the evaluation of the above mentioned violations, Delna considered, whether controlling authorities have established any of the violations, as well as if they have fined, expressed reprimand or informed the candidate about violations in any other way:

  • The competent authority has initiated an investigation or disciplinary case against the candidate about inobservance of provisions regarding good governance,
  • The competent authority has established that the candidate has violated certain provisions regarding good governance and has expressed reprimand,
  • The competent institution has fined the candidate or the organisation he or she is representing for violation of good governance.

4. UNETHICAL CONDUCT. The society has the right to require public officials and other individuals that tend to gain power to act ethically, set an example and demonstrate high standards of ethics in performing the duties of the office.

The values and actions that were considered reference-points when selecting information for the data base are: integrity (being honest), fairness (being fair), responsibility (acting responsibly), respect (to be respectful), independence (maintaining independence), and nonconformity (not conform to the influence). 

The cases noted below and other situations were treated as unethical conduct:

  • Violations of the professional codes of conduct, for instance, Code of Ethics for Members of the Saeima, Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament, as well as Code of Ethics of Latvian Journalists, Latvian Judges’ Code of Ethics and other codes of conduct, if it is applicable to the professional activity of the candidate,
  • Public information has emerged, indicating potential involvement in corruptive activities, however it has not been assessed by competent authorities,
  • Potential conflicts of interest not defined by the law that has not been assessed or examined, 
  • Apparent and unverified cases of poor governance, for instance, public information on potential dubious lobbying practice, participation in doubtful public procurement procedures, use of shortcomings of the system, violations of the regulations regarding financing of political parties and candidates, as well as inobservance of restrictions of pre-election agitation, if it has not been verified and investigated,
  • Disrespectful expressions of candidates that are not considered to be hate or intolerance speech, as well as statements and actions that raise doubts about the loyalty towards Latvian state and its sovereignty, but is not the hate speech,
  • Public lies by the candidates,
  • Participation in keeping or supporting "shadow treasuries" of the parties,
  • Accepting presents that have not been restricted by the law, but resemble such,
  • Tax frauds or other type of "scheming" for the private benefit,
  • Participation in the "positivism campaign" and other dubious activities of pre-election agitation.

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The risk assessment scale of the candidates 

Assessment Description Nature of the violation
Dangerous Information about the candidate indicates systematic involvement in unethical conduct, practice of poor government or conflicts of interest, but most significantly – in corruptive deals and other criminal offences, seriously violating the interests of the society and the state. Corruption and other criminal offences considered to be criminal acts, including poor governance, unethical conduct, and conflicts of interests. 
High risk Information about the candidate indicates several or repeated violations, mainly in the form of conflict of interest, corruption or other criminal offences, or doubtful activity with potential consequences of systematic nature that are contrary to the public interests. Corruption and other criminal offences that can also include conflicts of interest, poor governance and unethical conduct.
Medium risk Information about the candidate indicates repeated violations, as well as doubtful activity, mainly regarding conflict of interest, poor governance and unethical conduct, thus creating concerns about suitability for the position of a parliamentarian. Conflicts of interest, poor governance and unethical conduct.
Low risk Information about the candidate indicates violations mainly in the field of ethics and good governance; it does not have systematic nature and broader influence.  Poor governance and unethical conduct.
Worth to consider Information available indicates only the potential violations of ethical conduct, as well as other risks to the reputation of the candidate, but per se it does not establish grounds to question the suitability of the candidate.  Unethical conduct and other cases that influence the reputation of the candidate.
No infomation No information about the candidate regarding the criteria of data base can be found.  

SEVEN FACTORS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHEN ASSESING CANDIDATES

No Factor Type of criteria
1 Type of violations
  • Private
  • Professional
2 Harm to the state and the society
  • Unethical conduct
  • Poor governance
  • Conflict of interest
  • Corruption and other criminal offences
3 Influence on the society
  • Local influence
  • National influence
  • International influence
4 Frequency of the occurrence
  • Once
  • Repeatedly
5 Status of the candidate
  • Public official
  • Representative of the private sector or NGO
6 The involvement of the candidate
  • Direct or indirect involvement in the violation of ethics or good governance
  • An investigation has been carried / warning or fine has or not has been received about the case of violation of ethics or good governance
  • An investigation has been initiated; the candidate has been accused or convicted/sentenced due to the conflict of interest, corruption or other criminal offence.
7 Time of the occurrence
  • Before 2003
  • Between 2004 and 2014

* In separate cases the mass media as a trustworthy and objective source has been assessed when describing a case as well as the way the case has been reflected in mass media – for instance, if it has been mentioned only in one or several sources; also the whole information has been considered, namely, the information on the candidates’ profiles was assessed in the context of the information specified on the other profiles.

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Section "Worth knowing"

Assessment of Delna WAS NOT APPLIED to the candidates for the following informative criteria:

1. PARTY SWITSHING. The candidate has switched political parties for several times. Why is it important? Frequent party switching weakens party system and implementation of the pre-election promises, and does not indicate maturity of political culture of parties and candidates. 

2. OTHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES that are not related to the ethical conduct of the candidate, but affect reputation and perception of electorate.

3. HATE SPEECH. There is no definition of the concept „hate speech” in the international human rights documents, therefore creators of the data base used the definition of the European Council, which is also used as a reference by the European Court of Human Rights.

The following aspects were assessed during selection: if the candidate has publicly expressed intolerant opinion or instigated hateful action against particular groups of the society, for example, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism or other forms of hate based on intolerance arising from aggressive nationalism, ethnocentrism, discrimination and hate towards minorities, migrants and people with foreign origin. Why is it important? “Hate speech” illustrates the attitude of the candidate regarding socially, ethnically and historically sensitive issues.

Attention is paid to the following:

  • intolerant statements regarding state and diverse groups of the society;
  • public call for violence, hate and discrimination;
  • public injury of reputation and defamation;
  • intimidation of the individual or a group of persons due to race, colour, language, religion, citizenship, gender, or national origin;
  • with the racial intention and public propagation of ideology that advocates superiority or derogates or abuses a group of persons due to race, colour,  language, religion, citizenship, gender, or national origin.

4. FINANCES OF THE CANDIDATES. Information about finances of the candidates were included in the data base, if it was publicly available:

  • Cash savings from 20 minimum monthly salaries that in the period of 2010 - 2013 was LVL 4000 or EUR 5649.39. Why is it important? Notable cash savings cause grounds for financial speculations.
  • Debt commitments of the candidates, from 20 minimum monthly salaries that in 2013 was LVL 4000 or EUR 5649.39. Why is it important? Notable debt commitments cause the risk of financial dependence and activities related to such dependence.
  • Donations to parties. Total amount of candidate’s donations to the political parties. Why is it important? This indicates the candidate’s support or realisation of specific interests with the support of political power.

Section "Previous activities"

In case a candidate has previously been elected to the Saeima and/or European Parliament, following information is available:

  • links to the profile of a candidate in www.europarl.eu or www.votewatch.eu if he or she has been elected to European Parliament in 2009-2014, as well as links to the profile of candidate in parliamentary monitoring portal Deputatiuzdelnas.lv created by Delna, if a candidate has been a member of 11th Parliament of Latvia, where statistics about the candidates’ activities in the Parliament are available. Why is it important? Voters have a chance to follow the promises and activities of the elected politicians.

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DISCLAIMER

Our work was performed with professional accuracy and was based on the information obtained from the mass media, online media, and public data bases. Please do inform us immediately in case there is a reason to believe that we are not up-to-date about all the circumstances, so we can assess additional information and correct this Assessment accordingly. 

Without carrying out additional independent verification, we assume that all information and data obtained are accurate and corresponding information channel takes full responsibility thereof.  Delna shall not be responsible and shall not provide any guarantees regarding accuracy of such information.
Effective legal acts of the Republic of Latvia and interpretation of those acts are taken into account when preparing this Assessment. 

Interpretation of the legal acts by third parties, public sector institutions, and courts may differ from the interpretation of Delna in particular cases. Delna does not take responsibility for the modifications in this Assessment in case changes are required due to amendments to legal acts.

Opinion expressed in this assessment is not binding to the third parties, courts or other public sector institutions, and it shall not be deemed as a description of actual conditions, and/or as a guarantee that third parties, courts or other public sector institutions will agree to the opinion expressed by Delna. Delna does not take any responsibility regarding this Assessment, if it is used by the third parties or if the third parties rely on it.

Assessment provided shall be used only for the informative purposes.

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Last changes 05.05.2014

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