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Prime Minister resigns

Feb 20, 2009
TBT Staff

Prime Minister resigns
The Prime Minister bowed to pressure from ruling coalition parties to step down. (Photo courtesy of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia)
RIGA 's Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis has informed President Valdis Zatlers that he will resign from office.

"The president has accepted the prime minister's resignation. Next week will start consultations with parties," the president's press secretary said.

The spokeswoman said the government would still be obligated to fulfill the president's Jan. 14 demands, which included restructuring of the government institutions and administration.

"The government still has to go on working," she said.

The People's Party and Greens and Farmers Union, both members of the ruling coalition, earlier today urged Godmanis to step down.

"We are sure that in the present economic situation, a government with wider support from the parliament and society is needed to solve the economic problems," People's Party Chairman Mareks Seglins told journalists on Friday.

Seglins and Greens and Farmers Union Head Augusts Brigmanis told reporters that a new government must be set up in a week's time. The talks on forming a new government will be held with all the political parties represented in the parliament except For Human Rights in a United Latvia.

Though nobody has yet been put forward to replace the outgoing prime minister, Seglins mentioned Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins as a possible candidate.

Zatlers said that he had lost confidence in the Prime Minister after the ruling coalition announced that it would not follow through with the government restructuring plan proposed by the People's Party.

Andris Berzins, the head of LPP/LC, Godmanis' party, said that he did not think it would be possible to form a new government within a week, and that the request for Godmanis to step down was driven by party politics.

"At present the People's Party is just trying to solve its own interior problems. Obviously, it is easier to overthrow Godmanis and then solve the issue about replacement of ministers," he said.

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