PM Kariņš comments on possible resignation of Economics Minister

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) has suggested the resignation of Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) in connection with the stepping down of Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For!) to achieve political balance, the PM said on Latvian Television May 17.

On May 16 evening, as a response to the resignation of Golubeva and the proposal of the PM, Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts (Development/For!) had told Latvian Television that the coalition is of the opinion that Economics Minister Vitenbergs is a weak minister. 

"The coalition has an opinion that he [Jānis Vitenbergs] is a relatively weak minister. For example, experienced coalition politicians have had to work a lot in the energy security working group to prepare issues that the Economics MInistry did not manage," Pavļuts said. Pavļuts himself withstood calls for his resignation back in September 2021.

Prime Minister Kariņš, however, said Tuesday morning that he could not agree with Pavļuts' statement. He said that the request for the resignation of Vitenbergs is only related to the restoration of political balance in the coalition.

"He [Vitenbergs] as one of the National Alliance ministers is a part of the organization which took the decision [the ultimatum on Golubeva's resignation], which in fact completely destabilized the government. It is not related to his activity, it is more related to that he is the National Alliance member in the government who joined most recently. It is also a coincidence that he is the youngest in years from NA. But that is not the reason," said the Prime Minister.

Kariņš said that the Economics Ministry is currently working on issues vital to Latvia, like reducing the dependency on Russian energy resources. "It is important that the next Minister continues this work," said Kariņš. The decision on who will be candidates to the posts of Interior Minister and Economics Minister are being left to Development/For! and National Alliance respectively.

With Saeima elections taking place October 1, the new ministers will have a relatively short tenure – unless of course they resign first.

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