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Sunday 25.08.2019 | Name days: Patrīcija, Ludis, Ludvigs, Ivonna

Opinion: President Berzins and oligarchs' revenge feast

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘President Andris Berzins promises to offer Latvia’s residents some very good home-made wine, which still needs a bit more time to reach an appropriate quality, as he describes the government formation process. But the wine he promises has been ready the past two years since the Order number 2 of then the President Valdis Zatlers. Berzins now sits at the head of the table to pronounce toasts at oligarchs’ revenge feast,’ – says journalist Aivars Ozolins.

‘The current conditions of Latvia’s political situation are close to those of spring of 2011 prior to Zatlers decision. Active players are mostly the same as well. The only differences measure up to mere nuisances. There are some factors that are serious, however. The most notable difference is that we have Andris Berzins as President of Latvia. And he seems to be resolving the political crisis in favour of those who lost that time,’ – Delfi portal reports.

According to Ozolins, the previous coalition formed by Valdis Dombrovskis – Unity and Union of Greens and Farmers – had a majority of votes in parliament (55), but Dombrovskis could only rely on votes provided by his party (33). Some of the most notable examples of using this kind of parliamentary power include the decline to approve Andrejs Judins to the post of Judge of Supreme Court in December 2010, Juris Jansons’ election as ombudsman in March 2011, the famous vote against CPCB’s searches in the home of Ainars Slesers, which then soon led to Zatlers’ decision to dissolve the Saeima entirely. And, of course, one cannot forget Andris Berzins’ election as President of Latvia. He won even though Zatlers had more public support from the Saeima.

‘The situation is similar. However, instead of UGF we have the National Alliance acting as saboteurs in Dombrovskis’ government. As you can see, the crumbling coalition actually had only a mere 40 votes to provide support for Artis Pabriks,’ – said the journalist.

According to him, there are two very important things that should be kept in mind during the evaluation of the selection process of the next Prime Minister. No matter which candidate Berzins said he would decide to name next January, the chosen candidate needs to have support from the majority of the Saeima – at least Union of Greens and Farmers, Harmony Centre and National Alliance (60 in total), not just that of Unity, Reform Party and Olsteins’ six non-party deputies.

Secondly, there is no way a new government can be formed without Unity. This is the main difference from the previous Saeima. We now often see moments when National Alliance votes along with Harmony Centre on many different topics. The two political powers also have somewhat similar views on state structure, democracy and law. However, forming a government with ‘Russians’ would be equal to political suicide for ‘true Latvians’.

‘This is Unity’s true ace. However, it seems that everyone else understands this better than Unity, which lets this resource go to waste so carelessly – by initially selecting three candidates “just for fun” and then writing off the one they chose “for real” before the President’s official decision to decline him,’ – said Ozolins.

He adds that without Unity’s support, the new government would be controlled by Harmony Centre. National Alliance is not the only political power than cannot allow this to happen. It would be a risk for UGF to miss the formation of the last government in the party’s life.

‘The oligarch coalition knows of Unity’s power so well that Unity could end up leading the next government without even doing anything. Different forms of government lists keep surfacing, all ministries divided and such. The only thing lacking is Unity’s Prime Minister candidate. Brigmanis and Agesin both helpfully offer candidates for this post. At this point, everyone is offering candidates left and right (even the President encouraged journalists to propose candidates). It is rather touching to see HC’s enjoyment of all this – first about Berzins’ basically “helping” Dombrovskis resign, and now about the whole mess with PM candidates,’ – comments the journalist.

‘However, Unity’s ace has a time limit. Dombrovskis’ government has resigned. It is highly unlikely it will manage to make it until the next Saeima elections without support from the majority of the parliament. There will be a new government sooner or later. The most important process now is to keep Unity until the next government has been formed, and then take it out,’ – he adds.

The President seems to operate in accordance with his beliefs on how such things are done. But these beliefs seem more like those of a person who came from a specific category of people, the journalist concluded.


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