LTV: Outgoing Health Minister will not join New Unity party

Minister of Health Līga Meņģelsone considered joining the New Unity party and potentially continuing to play a role at the ministry she headed, but later changed her mind after negotiations, reported Latvian Television September 15. 

Though Meņģelsone was one of the minsiters allocated to the United List political grouping in the outgoing coalition, she was not a member of any political party and did not run in last year's Saeima elections.

After LTV reported that she had submitted a membership application to New Unity, she later clarified that she did indeed fill out an application earlier in the week when there seemed to be a possibility of her continuing in post in the new coalition government. She has now withdrawn her application, she asserted.

Meanwhile, the nominated new Health Minister Hosams Abu Meri (New Unity) confirmed to Latvian Television that he spoke with Meņģelsone on Wednesday about possible cooperation.

During Friday's Saeima debate ahead of a vote on the new government, Meņģelsone's performance as Minister of Health was singled out for praise by the United List's Edgars Tavars. 

On Thursday, looking back on what she had accomplished in her position as Minister of Health, Meņģelsone expressed in a statement to the media "satisfaction with what has been accomplished in a relatively short time and hope that the initiated reforms will not remain half-done".

She said that during her term of office, she managed to "attract a significant additional financial sum" for healthcare and "make important preparations so that health care in Latvia is of high quality and truly people-oriented".

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