Radical nationalism awakens,
or Citizenship issue from 1988 till the Supreme Council
resolution “On the restoration of the rights of citizens”
From the “long-term democratic deficit”
to the restoration of ethnocracy
Formation of a new historical memory,
or the Whitewashing of Nazism in Latvia
UDK 94(474.3) “19/20”
The book Latvia 1988-2015: a triumph of the radical nationalists» is dedicated to Latvia’s most recent history. On May 4, 1990, the Supreme Soviet (Supreme Council) of the Latvian SSR adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Latvian Republic without holding a national referendum, thus violating the acting Constitution. Following this up on October 15, 1991, the Supreme Soviet deprived more than a third of its own electorate of the right to automatic citizenship. As a result, one of the most fundamental principles of democracy, universal suffrage, was eliminated.
Thereafter, the Latvian parliament, periodically re-elected in conditions where a significant part of country’s inhabitants lack the right to participate in elections, has been adopting laws on citizenship, language and education that discriminate against the national minorities and lay the foundation for the construction of a so-called «Latvian Latvia», or Latvia for Latvians». Simultaneously, there is an active campaign for establishing a new historical memory, the main aim of which is rehabilitation of Karlis Ulmanis’ ethnocratic regime (1934-1940), rehabilitation of Nazism and denigration of Latvia’s history as part of the USSR (1940-1941, 1944-1945-1990). On November 8, 2002, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe assessed the political development of the Latvian Republic and concluded that the country is prone to a «long-term democratic deficit».