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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Dissatisfied party member’s letter to Unity

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEven though the resigning government of Latvia had its fair share of conflicts, it was often called the best in Latvia’s history. Most of the conflicts broke out because there were people in the government who had a lot of ambition to perform reforms, believes the head of Unity’s Viļāni branch Juris Galerijs Vidiņš.

In an open letter to TVNET, he mentions ministers’ achievements: ‘The government’s first Education Minister Ķīlis may have lacked practical initiative, but we should be grateful to him for putting education reforms on the top of the list of political agendas.

Welfare Minister Viņķele achieved an increase of retirement age for long-term stability of our country’s pension system. Economy Minister Pavļuts fought on multiple fronts, but his most notable achievement was making sure his drafts on state and municipal companies’ management would reach the Saeima.

It was during Finance Minister Vilks’ time that Latvia managed to end the international loan programme, Latvia’s ratings were significantly improved, euro was finally adopted and the proportion of shadow economy in the country was significantly reduced.’

Vidiņš cannot understand why PM candidate Laimdota Straujuma did not invite these people to join the government at the very start of the government formation talks.

‘Was it Vilks’ independence, his decision to appoint a new Director General for SRS in spite of parties’ protests against it? Was it Viņķele’s trait to call things as they are? What was it that dissatisfied you with Pavļuts?

Did you coordinate your selection of ministers with the Presdient of Latvia, who was chosen thanks to votes of Lembergs’, HC’s, UGF’s and certain Unity and National Alliance’s deputies?’ – as Vidiņš asks Straujuma in his letter.

The politician is certain low ratings of some ministers cannot serve as a good enough reason for this, because the posts of the Healthcare and Welfare minister are equally “politically suicidal”. ‘Residents will always be dissatisfied with their pension amounts,’ – he states.

He also notes that Straujuma had once told Nekā personīga programme that ministers cannot be people with no political allegiance. ‘Do these thoughts come from experience? And what about our Transport Minister?’ – asks the politician.

About party affairs

He adds Unity has no form of feedback – members of the party do not have access to minutes of meetings, branch finances and newly accepted members. ‘Party members often feel useless and uninformed. Five of six members usually participate in internal meetings. It is not worth discussing anything if the Board of the party ignores the opinions of other members,’ – says Vidiņš.

As he recalls, more than a year ago, Unity’s Viļani branch had turned to the Board of Unity with a request to dismiss Einārs Repše and Edgars Jaunups from the ranks of the party due to their secessionist activities. No reply was ever received.

He believes the party has yet to learn anything from its past mistakes. ‘We all remember the scandal involving Zaķis and his tax avoidance scheme, as well as his and Smitens’ lobbying of Gazprom’s interests. Members of the party punished him by not electing into the Board. And yet the decision was till made to leave both of them to lead a faction. Mrs Āboltiņa, has it never occurred to you that many TV viewers may have found it strange to see him participating in the government formation talks?’ – he asked.

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