The Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) arrived to June 19 government meeting with documents to replace three freeport board members in Ventspils and Riga. But the political party Unity once again chose to postpone the decision, the portal Pietiek reports.
Shortly after the coalition meeting on June 18, Unity and Reform party held secret talks on port issues but they ended without result.
According to Pietiek, the MoE had drafted documents to dismiss Unity member Olafs Pulks from his post in the Freeport of Riga board. Instead, the ministry had intended to appoint Girts Greisklans, executive director of the Foreign Investors Council in Latvia. His candidacy was chosen after a series of consultations with experts.
Whereas, the MoT had prepared documents on replacement of two board members from the Greens and Farmers Union (GFU). One of them works in Venstpils Freeport, while the other in the Freeport of Riga. MoT State Secretary Anrijs Matiss was expected to replace Artis Stucka, who is currently Venstpils Freeport board member. MoT deputy State Secretary Dzineta Innusa was supposed to replace Juris Vaskans as Freeport of Riga board member.
However, none of the bills was included in the agenda of June 19 government meeting, as Unity did not grant its consent to move on with port reforms.
There are two political forces that do not want replacement of freeport boards – Unity and the actual GFU leader – Aivars Lembergs. Unity is no longer in charge of the MoE since the snap parliamentary election. It is now the Reform Party, which holds the right to delegate a state representative in freeports.
This means that Olafs Pulks (Riga) and Antons Vjaters (Ventspils), once nominated by then-economy minister Artis Kampars, might lose their economically profitable and influential posts. Besides, Lembergs has already lost one of his associates in the Freeport of Riga – Viesturs Silenieks. The Reform Party replaced him with lawyer Inga Antane, whose candidacy was proposed by Edmunds Sprudzs, Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister.
Pietiek information shows that behind the scenes there are ongoing legal battles as to whether to withdraw Pulks prior to his replacement. This would be possible if Unity did not raise its objections. So far, the party has not removed its objections to the Reform Party’s initiative – to nominate Lembergs’ opponent Aivis Landmanis’ for the post in Ventspils Freeport board. Landmanis was once member of New Era Party, which let him down when becoming too friendly with Lembergs during the 10th Saeima.