MP leaves party over 'oligarch conversations' ruckus

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Saeima deputy Ringolds Balodis has made the decision to leave the For Latvia from the Heart party in protest at the way party leader Inguna Sudraba is acting as chairwoman of the parliamentary committee investigating to so-called ''oligarch conversations'', the politician told LETA December 13.

This means that the party now has fewer than five MPs in its Saeima group, which means that the faction ceases to exist, as a Saeima group needs at least five MPs.

''I am ashamed of this public farce being conducted by Sudraba. Instead of trying to get to the bottom line, she is doing the opposite - burying the investigation,'' Balodis said.

''I do not want to sit aside and watch all of this unfold. Thus, I am leaving the party's Saeima group and becoming an independent MP,'' he said.

With fresh parliamentary elections looming in October, many MPs are jockeying for position.

In a separate move Solvita Āboltiņa, former parliamentary speaker and chairwoman of the Vienotiba party announced January 11 in a widely-anticipated move that she was quitting parliament  with her place to be taken by Kuldiga councilor Artis Gustovskis.

Four years after she got the mandate in highly controversial circumstances, Aboltina is planning a return to the diplomatic service where a job vacancy has been kept open for her.  

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