Dombrovskis appointed new PM

  • 2009-02-26
  • From wire reports

Dombrovskis will now have to form a new Cabinet (photo courtesy of the European Parliament)

RIGA 's TheLatvian president has given New Era candidate Valdis Dombrovskis, an MEP, thepost of prime minister and the task of forming a new government.

President Valdis Zatlers said on Thursday that six politicalparties have thrown their support behind Dombrovskis.

"If we count all pros and cons, then each candidate hashis priorities, but, if we look at the country's current priorities, they arefinances, economy and optimization of state administration, in exactly thisorder. Taking into account what political parties voiced on Monday and Tuesday,the opinions of the candidates about processes in the country, I have selectedone of them... I invite Valdis Dombrovskis to form the Cabinet ofMinisters," the president said.

He said Dombrovskis has experience in finances and economy as well as inwork with the European Union institutions, while the other candidate, EdgarsZalans, was more experienced in state administration reform issues.

"If we look at the country's priorities, thenDombrovskis is better in financial and economic competence and cooperation withthe European Union institutions, while Zalans has competence in stateadministration reforms," said Zatlers.

The president said that competence of both candidates compared with late2007 when they both competed for the prime minister's post with Ivars Godmanishas increased significantly.

He said he would invite New Era, the People's Party, the Greens and FarmersUnion (ZZS), the Civic Union and For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK (TB/LNNK) tojoin the coalition, while the involvement of Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way(LPP/LC) remains an open question. Dombrovskis noted New Era was againstreappointing those ministers of the previous government that have earned negativepublicity, such as former finance minister Atis Slakteris and transportminister Ainars Slesers.

Lawmakers from the opposition Society for Other Politics -- AigarsStokenbergs and Artis Pabriks -- have also pledged support to theDombrovskis-led Cabinet.

New Era believes the new government must be able to ensure the resumption ofcrediting by providing assistance to businesses and production, to trim downthe public administration, as well as to make necessary changes in the taxationpolicy to ensure economic recovery.

New Era nominated Dombrovskis for prime minister already in late 2007, butthe president then chose Ivars Godmanis as the new head of government.

Dombrovskis, 38, has a master's degree in physics and a bachelor's degree ineconomics. He has also studied in Germany and the U.S.

Dombrovskis started his career at the University of Latvia, Institute of Solid-State Physics, and in 1998he started work at the Bank of Latvia.

His political career began in 2002 when he was elected to the board of the newly-establishedNew Era party. Dombrovskis has headed the Finance Ministry for nearly twoyears. In 2004 he was elected to the European Parliament.