Unity party congress may decide government's fate

Amid mounting speculation about the fall of the government, LTV7's Segodnya Vecherom reported Tuesday that the Unity party congress slated for Saturday, December 5, might decide on the fate of the current government. 

While officially the congress will concentrate on the party's goals by the 100th anniversary of Latvia in 2018, party leader Solvita Aboltina said that Unity has serious problems even now.

"I, of course, am only glad that the budget has been adopted, but we should answer to ourselves truthfully — whether the current government is the one needed, given the situation. We are seeing terrorism in Paris, and nothing is over in Ukraine, and it's Turkey now... The government must be more capable for action and cohesive," Aboltina told LTV7.

Coalition partners are saying that it's difficult to work in the current government.

"We are hearing some rumors, but if we ask the PM herself — everything is alright. She's working," Armands Krauze, the head of the Greens and Farmers Union told LTV7.

"The leaders of Unity are constantly talking about the limited term the government will go on working, and are always tying [these terms] with some particular happenings. [..] But we, as well as the society, want to know what will come next," co-chair of National Alliance Gaidis Bērziņš told LTV7.

LETA news agency added to the speculation, reporting Wednesday that should the government fall, the coalition's current composition is likely to remain unchanged for some time, judging by informal conversations with a number of politicians.

Earlier, Unity leader Aboltina told TV3 that the Regional Alliance would be preferable in comparison with For Latvia from the Heart because the Regional Alliance "could at least show that they were a united team". LETA reported unofficial sources as saying that, should the current government fall, Aboltina would need broader support in Saeima to get nominated for the office of prime minister.

For now, most coalition partners remain skeptical about the Regional Alliance's inclusion in the coalition and predict that the coalition's current composition will hold also in the future.

Speculation is mounting that with one of the government's key duties - adopting the budget - out of the way, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma might step down in the near rather than distant future.

"All governments end their terms in office sooner or later, and when it happens in my case, I will inform all of you," Straujuma told reporters at Saeima. 

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