Government deals enter third week

Three weeks after parliamentary elections on October 4, the three parties of the existing coalition government were set to begin yet another round of talks Monday in their efforts to divide cabinet portfolios between them.

Speaking on LTV's morning news show Rita Panorama Monday, representatives of two of the three parties said one major bone of contention was who would control the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) but that it was not the only obstacle to a conclusion of talks.

Augusts Brigmanis, leader of the Greens and Farmers Union in parliament said disagreement between the coalition partners on the crucial issue of the shape of next year's budget was "the central question" and that its resolution was "a complex question".

"But work on the government declaration has started," Brigmanis confirmed. However, he also said it was normal for coalition negotiations to take around a month, signalling that full agreement may still be some way off.

Coincidentally a legal battle between VARAM and the Greens and Farmers Union's Prime Ministerial candidate, Aivars Lembergs, also continued in court Monday, creating an unusual situation in which one of the people helping to decide who would be minister was locked in a legal dispute with the ministry itself.

Gaidis Berzins of the National Alliance also stressed the ongoing talks were nothing unusual.

 "The process will run its course, nothing extraordinary has happened," Berzins said, arguing that the National Alliance deserved to keep control of the Environment and Regional Development ministry because of the track record of its current minister Romans Naudins.

Talks are due to continue Monday afternoon.

Politics
Politics