Economics Minister withdrawn from office after changing party

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Latvian Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs, who was elected in the Saeima from the faction KPV LV, after deciding to join the National Alliance (NA), has been withdrawn by KPV LV from the post of Economics Minister, Latvian Television reported April 22.

Minister changes party

Vitenbergs has decided to quit the political party KPV LV, which, according to him, gave him the opportunity to get into politics. The minister noted that he now had had the opportunity to assess which political organization was the "closest to his beliefs", so he made a choice for the benefit of the country.

According to Vitenbergs, “I am very close to the family values of the National Alliance, because there are three daughters in our family that we want to bring up in the Latvian way of life. The National Alliance, as a political party, has defended the interests of small farmers throughout Latvia, has been able to make significant progress in supporting families and has always appreciated and supported the Latvian independence fighters.”

NA President Raivis Dzintars stated that the vision and objectives of the political organization and Vitenbergs were the same.

KPV LV withdraws Vitenbergs from office

On the other hand, the Board of the KPV LV has decided to withdraw Vitenbergs as the economics minister. The Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) will also be informed about the party's decision on Thursday, the Board said.

"Vitenbergs was delegated by our party as Minister for Economic Affairs, so it would only be in good faith if, with public statements about joining another party, he announced leaving the post. We did not see such a decision, so we on the Governing Board have decided to withdraw him from the post of Minister for Economic Affairs. This was not an easy decision, because until now, as a party, we have been standing for someone whose beliefs we have always supported in difficult times and in difficult and incomprehensible decisions,“ said Ieva Krapāne, Chair of the Board of Governors of KPV LV.

Kaprāne said that the party had accepted Vitenbergs' decision to go another way, but the political force was prepared to push forward a new ministerial candidate: “Knowing that the country needs stability and capacity in the face of a pandemic, we have already examined the possibilities of new candidates who will be able to swiftly ensure continuity in the work of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.”

Māris Možvillo, president of the “KPV LV” faction, said in an interview on LTV that he had obtained information on Vitenbergs' decision to change the party “from the same space as you learned it”. “We're not happy about the minister's step, of course. And this issue is to be examined from both the interests of the party and from the interests of the faction,” he added.

A new candidate for the post of Minister of Economics from KPV LV, will be decided after a meeting with the Prime Minister, with whom the meeting time is not yet known. Možvillo added that the talks may have three outcomes: a positive, negative and “a third option.”

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