Tensions in coalition as senior figures criticize each other

Criticism by Finance Minister Arvils Ašeradens (New Unity) of Health Minister Līga Meņģelsone (United List) is unfounded, incorrect and unacceptable, according to Meņģelsone's party colleague and parliamentary speaker Edvards Smiltēns.

Speaking to Latvian Television's (LTV) "Morning Panorama" news show, Smiltēns – who was himself formerly in Unity as it was then known, before leaving the party – said that the United List "firmly stands behind its minister". 

"The unjustified attacks aimed at her are incorrect and unacceptable in this situation," Smiltēns said.

He stated that it is clear that the scope of problems in the healthcare sector is huge, but should be treated i the same manner as the education sector, which is under New Unity's remit.

"The government must treat everyone equally," said Smiltēns.

Ašeradens had pointed out shortcomings in the ability of the Ministry of Health to address the reform of the health system service network. He also harshly criticized the plans developed by the ministry in a LTV broadcast Tuesday.

The inter-ministerial spat comes with tensions already high in the coalition with the United List and New Unity both fielding their own candidates after discussions of proposing a joint coalition candidate floundered.

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