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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta
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PM candidate: many try to influence the government declaration plan

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUPoliticians of Unity’s office used last Sunday to carry out the last couple of tasks in PM candidate Laimdota Straujuma’s plan to form the new government in Latvia. Seeing as how the recently mentioned official motives against Daniels Pavļuts approval as Economy Minister do not seem beneficial for state interests, other motives seem much more believable. In particular, the personal dislike of President Andris Berziņš for Pavļuts.

Unity’s leader Solvita Āboltiņa has also expressed her opposition towards Pavļuts. This may be because of his initiative to reduce state support for green energy producers, which would make things rather hard for politicians linked to this business. Political cards were not dealt rather smoothly by Straujuma, as described by Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

For example, Defence Minister Artis Pabriks was the most popular one in Valdis Dombrovskis’ government, but was sacrificed in order to save Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry from the hands of Union of Greens and Farmers. UGF’s environmental specialist Raimonds Vējonis turned out to be a valuable addition to the post of Defence Minister. This came as a big surprise to local and foreign specialists, who are well aware that this person represents a party that opposed Latvia’s participation in NATO and international military operations and does not support allocation of funding for the army.

Straujuma’s principles did not help with the selection of a new Justice Minister. Jānis Bordāns is a good professional, but he is not in any of the coalition parties, so he is not fit. Another candidate with no political allegiance – the ministry’s state secretary Mārtiņš Lazdovskis – wants to remain in the post for a mere couple of months, so that he can use this as a jump-off point for a post in the European Parliament. In Pabriks’ case becoming a candidate to join the European Parliament is an obstacle to remain as minister. However, this is allowed for Baiba Broka. If she is approved as Justice Minister, Broka promises to sort out the construction sector. The fact that Maxima network developers tried to lobby law amendments that would have allowed faster construction processes for Maxima through Broka last summer does not seem to be a big issue at all.

‘My colleague Baiba Broka had asked me to meet with Maxima representatives in order to discuss with them the problems that had recently appeared. It was spring, I believe. They came to me, telling about the problems they had with the construction of a Maxima in Mežciems,’ – said Bordans.

On multiple occasions Straujuma has demonstrated strong will. For example, UGF tried to initiate one of their old plans to include regulations to criminal and administrative processes regarding the possibility of punishing those who allow violation of human rights against defendants. It is believed to be a way to intimidate officials who are involved in Lembergs’ criminal process.

In spite of multiple requests from UGF, Straujuma declined this idea. A similar situation took place with National Alliance’s proposal to legally recognize a trust institute. Both the Finance Ministry and Justice Ministry thought this was a way meant to ease tax avoidance, provide a legal justification for actual benefit recipients to hide and interfere with Latvia’s plans to join OECD.

Straujuma crossed out this initiative from the declaration project. Her colleagues believe it is one her main traits – if she is certain about justifications behind decisions, she will not allow herself to be convinced otherwise.

Unity’s Board states that compromises are unavoidable, but everything is being done with a single goal in mind – to include UGF in the government so that they do not collide with Harmony Centre. This will also allow the government to keep Harmony Centre out of the government even after the upcoming elections.

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