Latvia's new government is ready to take office and will be able to withstand the pressure it may face in the time remaining until the elections, Prime Minister designate Laimdota Straujuma has said.
With the Reform Party's decision to nominate Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis for the economy minister, the government's makeup is now clear, said Straujuma. The pending coalition partners are yet to complete work on the coalition agreement and clarify a few points in the government's declaration.
If the new government receives thumbs up from Saeima, it will have six new ministers - Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs (Greens/Farmers), Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Einars Cilinskis (All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK, VL-TB/LNNK), Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis (Greens/Farmers), Welfare Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers), Education and Science Minister Ina Druviete (Unity).
Current Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts (Reform Party), Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Unity), Justice Minister Janis Bordans, Welfare Minister Ilze Vinkele (Unity) and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) will leave their posts.
Current Education and Science Minister Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis (Reform Party) will take charge the Economy Ministry, current Agriculture Minister Laimdota Straujuma will become the next prime minister.
The coalition parties will have a meeting on Jan.21 to discuss these matters.
The few uncertainties that the coalition partners need to agree yet pertain to local governments and healthcare funding, and a few other matters. Also, the coalition parties are still debating the proposal to make Latvian the only instruction language in schools, effective 2018, but the coalition supports the proposal in principle, added Straujuma.
She also said she was pleased that all coalition parties had acknowledged their willingness not to amend the 2014 state budget. This is very important to avoid any populist decisions being made before the Saeima elections in the fall, said Straujuma.
The next government will be made up of the current coalition parties - Unity, Reform Party, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK and six independent MPs - and the Union of Greens and Farmers, currently an opposition party.