Unpopular MP booted from Unity party

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Solvita Aboltina, a controversial member of the Latvian parliament with the troubled Unity party was unceremoniously kicked out of the party October 6 by the board which until recently she chaired.

The former leader of the Unity party and the party’s parliament faction head Solvita Aboltina was expelled for her comments and activities during the time when the party was searching for a new candidate for the position of economics minister.

As previously reported by LSM the new Unity chairman and current Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens recently announced that he had decided to resign as a minister in order to try to revive the party's fortunes,

He told the press after the party’s board meeting November 6 that Aboltina had been acting against the board’s decision and publicly commented on the possible candidates.

Aboltina also has addressed several people, inviting them to run for the position, and criticized the work of the faction and the board, he alleged.

Aseradens said that he cannot tolerate such plotting within the party and proposed the board to vote on expulsion Aboltina from the party. The decision was supported by eight board members, while two abstained.

Aseradens also announced his first major U-turn as party boss by saying he had decided to remain in the position of the economics minister after all.

It is far from the first time Aboltina has been involved in controversy, but previously other members of the party lacked the will or courage to criticize her. She is widely held to have undermined the authority of then-prime minister Laimdota Straujuma, a move which led to farcical in-fighting within the party and the collapse of its once-dominant position at the head of government.

The manner in which she was parachuted into parliament despite clear opposition from voters also proved the final straw for many traditional Unity supporters.

Speaking on Latvian Radio November 7, Aseradens said that as leader he had attempted to stamp his authority.

"A new leader has been appointed in the party, and it seems to me that I have to act as a leader... I think that Unity can do very well without Aboltina. (..) I think we are exaggerating her meaning. The main thing is that Unity has to work and go forward," he said.

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