RIGA - Nationalist alliance All For Latvia!-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK (VL-TB/LNNK) has made the unexpected proposal that performance of all ministers must be evaluated, which might be followed up by replacements, because the alliance has objections to several ministers' work, VL-TB/LNNK leader Raivis Dzintars says in an interview with LETA, adding, however, that the alliance would not be the one to topple the government of Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity).
First of all, every minister should report on what he or she has done pursuant to the government declaration, and what measures are planned for the near future, as well as present an analysis of mistakes and errors made so far and explain what has not yet been done - and why, explains Dzintars. Second, the opinion of non-governmental organizations and business associations representing every given sector should be taken into consideration. Dzintars acknowledges that many ministries are short of funds necessary for solving a number of problems, however, many of these problems should not be viewed that straightforward, explains Dzintars.
After that, coalition partners would be given the chance to ask their questions. "We are responsible to the voters for everything - the speed cameras, higher salaries for officials, gender-bender books in kindergartens, even if the ministers we have delegated are not directly responsible for that. That is why it is important that we can interview every minister, hear his or her answers and explanations, and see where our opinions differ," notes Dzintars.
Dzintars says that he personally has several objections regarding the Welfare Ministry's work, particularly about its gender equality program and activities in kindergartens.
There are also many differences of opinion with Education and Science Minister Roberts Kilis, but in this case there is at least some dialog taking place, adds Dzintars. The Education and Science Ministry is currently the only ministry that has set up a task force - which is to consider reforms to the higher education system - which includes representatives from all ruling coalition parties. There are no such task forces at any other ministry.
Commenting Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs' work, Dzintars says that VL-TB/LNNK has developed quite close cooperation with Sprudzs, although Dzintars disapproves of some of his decisions, for instance, the minister's attempts to suspend Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs from his job.
There are pros and cons in the work of Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Reform Party) and Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Unity), the same goes for Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Reform Party). The "speed camera saga" began before Kozlovskis took office, therefore VL-TB/LNNK does not have a critical opinion about Kozlovskis.
Sweeping reforms to health care proposed by Health Minister Ingrida Circene (Unity) are still being discussed within VL-TB/LNNK. Dzintars also informs that VL-TB/LNNK has no objections to the work of Agriculture Minister Laimdota Straujuma and Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts.
No one can be pleased with the finance minister "by definition," says Dzintars. Finance Minister Andris Vilks (Unity) and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) are the ones responsible for budget finances - all ministries are demanding more money from the budget, but it is clear that not all these requests can be accepted.
Ministers delegated by VL-TB/LNNK - Justice Minister Janis Bordans and Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende - are prepared to present their achievements and reply coalition partners' questions. Dzintars admits that the culture minister had certain problems in communication with society following her trip to Australia, but the list of Jaunzeme-Grende's accomplishments and future tasks is quite impressive, which is also recognized by VL-TB/LNNK's coalition partners.
"I am confident that after ministers' performance is evaluated partners will not be demanding the replacement of Culture Minister Jaunzeme-Grende," says Dzintars.