The portal of the radio station Svoboda, whose headquarters are located in the Czech Republic, has published excerpts from its editor and radio personality Andrey Shariy’s interview with Gregory Zubarev, the news agency BNN GmbH editorial council member and head of BNN Baltic version. The first question asked for characteristics of the political situation in the country.
At first Harmony Center with its 31 votes felt like everything was in its hands. Then ex-president Valdis Zatlers, leader of Zatlers Reform Party with its 22 votes announced the same. This was then followed by Unity and its 20 parliamentary seats and the national association All for Latvia with its 14 Saeima deputies. Finally, the relay baton was passed to six people.
Do you mean those six deputies that quit their faction?
I mean those six people who declared themselves an independent group of deputies right on the day before the first Saeima meeting. They complained about lack of democracy in decision-making. These six persons aside, Zatlers, Unity and the national association have only 50 votes, which means 50 percent of the Saeima is left powerless.
Do you mean Latvian deputies?
What’s the difference?
Still, ethnic lines do divide Latvia.
It’s not the country that is divided by the ethnic principle. It’s politics. There are also Russian ministers in the new Valdis Dombrovskis’ government that is not yet fully formed. We are not talking about nationality or ideology, we are talking only about political gain.
Why isn’t inclusion of Harmony Center considered any longer?
As a Russian, most probably, I would have to panic. But as a political observer, I must say that Harmony Center is actually betraying its supporters just like any other party. If I were its coalition partner, I would first ask them whether they can guarantee smooth work of the coalition, given that they have already changed their standpoint 5-6 times. Riga Mayor Nils Ushakov was ready to sacrifice the Rubiks’ Socialist Party, which is a member of the political association. Harmony Centre did not give him the permission to do it.
It is not enough with 50 parliament members to form the Cabinet of Ministers. How could the political puzzle round up? More snap elections or yet another round of negotiations?
There will be no more snap elections. Neither is there any puzzle. Latvian politician’s head rotates in opposite directions. There are those six that say that they support Zatlers and Unity’s coalition and do not covet any ministerial posts, namely, they are simultaneously as if categorically against, while being absolutely for. It is exactly what President Berzins said – it is not a stable government with 56 members and six of them drifting away. It is now completely possible that Lembergs with his Greens and Farmers Union could after all take part in the coalition.
Do you think that Harmony Center will not form the Cabinet of Ministers?
Exactly. Unity is against Harmony Center joining the govenrment and it cannot be changed.
Will the ruling coalition remain the same?
I think it will be expanded. It will definitely not have the same form it had on Friday night.
Harmony Center supporters protested outside the Saeima building. Is Riga ready for more ambitious public campaigns and public protests?
I believe protests will not grow more radical. Harmony Center failed exactly because of its too complex tricks. Russian-speaking people came to believe that they were deceived. But in fact it was not so – some politicians simply outsmarted others. However, there is, of course, resentment, first and foremost, historical. This is what, I think, Harmony Center stressed.