Aboltina defends career, promises long-term government

Solvita Aboltina, Speaker of the 11th Saeima session and current leader of the Unity party, told LTV morning news program Panorama Thursday that the next Cabinet of Ministers was being formed “for the full four-year term”. As for her moving up on Unity’s Kurzeme electoral constituency list to become a member of the 12th Saeima, Aboltina insisted there was no shame in being a rank-and-file parliamentarian.

Her remarks were directed to deflect statements to the contrary by Greens and Farmers’ Alliance (ZZS) leader Augusts Brigmanis, who doubted whether the delayed naming of nominees to cabinet posts was a herald for a stable period of governing.

Aboltina expressed incomprehension at the ZZS leader’s gripes, saying that the horse-trading had concluded to the satisfaction of all sides among the ‘old’, or current ruling coalition government, which wants to continue as the ‘new’ coalition when the 12th Saeima assembles for its inaugural plenary session November 4 and is expected to vote on the now fully hammered-out Cabinet proposal under Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma’s leadership next week.

As reported, President Andris Berzins gave the emergent-current coalition one week to finalize its make-up and agree on the divvying of ministerial roles, the deadline being Wednesday, October 29.

Indeed, this week the remaining vacant nominee postings were announced in time to meet the President’s ultimatum: the Health Ministry post found pharmacology business sector representative Guntis Belevics (ZZS) ready and willing to take up critically stalled health care system reforms; while secondary school education reformer Marite Seile was named as a good choice for taking over the Education and Science Ministry as Unity’s nominee.

Thus, by the end of next week the proposed government could take up leadership of the executive branch, if approved by the 12th Saeima, as follows (* indicates current Cabinet post):

Unity

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma*

Foreign Affairs – Edgars Rinkevics*

Interior – Rihards Kozlovskis*

Transport – Anrijs Matiss*

Finance – Janis Reirs

Education and Science – Marite Seile

ZZS

Defense – Raimonds Vejonis*

Agriculture – Janis Duklavs*

Welfare – Uldis Augulis*

Health – Guntis Belevics

Economics – Dana Reizniece-Ozola

National Alliance

Culture – Dace Melbarde*

Environment and Regional Affairs – Kaspars Tavars

Justice – Dzintars Rasnačs

12th Saeima Speaker – Inara Murniece

While the coalition partners began talks immediately following the announcement of the October 4 election results, they got bogged down in several weeks’ worth of horse-trading, prompting President Berzins to threaten a possible reconsideration of his previously expressed support for giving the current coalition a chance to continue in the next government.

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Politics
Politics