Attīstībai/Par! party has to look for a new minister once again

The government led by Krišjānis Kariņš is the longest-serving government in the history of democratic Latvia, but changes of ministers have been quite frequent. However, three of the four ministers who have been replaced so far have been from the same party - Development/For! (Attīstībai/Par!). On Monday, Interior Minister Marija Golubeva announced her decision to resign.
17.05.2022. Jānis Lasmanis

The second minister to be replaced by Development/For! was the political head of environmental protection and regional development, Juris Pūce, who announced his resignation after being caught in a lie about using his influence in the Riga City Council to obtain free parking rights. He returned to the Saeima, and Artūrs Toms Plešs took the Minister's chair.

First on the list of failures was Health Minister Ilze Viņķele, whose resignation Kariņš demanded because he was not satisfied with the way the Minister was dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic. She was succeeded by Daniels Pavļuts, who had previously headed Development/For! Saeima faction.

Golubeva's resignation was demanded by the National Alliance, which found it unacceptable how the law enforcement bodies under her responsibility dealt with the challenges of May 9 and 10 at the so-called Victory Monument in Pārdaugava.

The National Alliance made its demand in the form of an ultimatum: if Golubeva did not resign, they would withdraw their ministers from the government. Political analyst Filips Rajevskis, however, believes that the relatively frequent change of ministers is not a big deal, given that the Kariņš government has the potential to last until the end of its term.

Golubeva did not wait for Kariņš to announce that he was calling for her resignation before announcing that she was leaving her post as a minister and would be back in the Saeima as of today.

"Prime Minister Kariņš, bowing to the pressure of the nationalist ultimatum, has decided not to support me. This will be my last day as Interior Minister. I am returning to the Saeima and we will decide on the next steps in the association,"

Golubeva said.

Rajevskis believes that she made this decision in order not to create a more serious crisis in the government, as the Prime Minister is not ready to lead a minority government even if it is supported by the National Alliance, which is in nominal opposition.

In contrast to Kariņš and the National Alliance, Development/For! still considers that the accusations of insufficient work done to prepare for May 9 and 10 are unfounded and is in no hurry to name a successor to Golubeva.

"Let's not rush ahead, we are interested for the government to work in the full composition (...) We will be active enough internally to come up with the best possible candidate to carry out these tasks," says Plešs.

Rajevskis, who does not see any suitable candidate for the post among Development/For!, believes that the organization could nominate a non-partisan candidate for the time being, who could be prepared for the 14th Saeima elections in autumn.

The National Alliance may also be forced to use similar tactics, as the Prime Minister intends to punish it for its public ultimatum and, in accordance with the cooperation agreement, has warned it that he will demand the resignation of Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs in 48 hours' time.


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