RIGA - Following the National Alliance's "blackmail attempt", Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) has decided to demand resignation of Economics Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance).
The National Alliance will be offered to nominate a new candidate for the post of the economics minister. Karins also said that the National Alliance could be offered to decide itself which of its ministers to replace. The prime minister explained that Vitenbergs had been selected as he had had been in office for the shortest time of all the alliance's ministers.
Karins said at a press conference today that the National Alliance's call for resignation of the outgoing Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For) was a blackmail attempt, because the alliance said it would leave the government should Golubeva decide not to step down.
The goal is to restore political balance, therefore National Alliance will also have to replace one of its ministers, said Karins. Since the National Alliance did not name any of its ministers, Karinis decided to demand resignation of Vitenbergs, who had been in office for the shortest time and is also the youngest of the National Alliance's ministers.
Karins said that the government would not be able to continue work with such a "blackmail factor", as it would mean that any coalition partner could issue an ultimatum like the National Alliance did, which would incapacitate the government very quickly.
"Without such a change of minister, it is not possible to achieve a political balance in the coalition, because stability of the government depends on it having all ministers in their offices and a majority in Saeima. In this case, the balance was upset," explained Karins.
Pursuant to the coalition agreement, Karins will demand Vitenbergs' resignation in two days "unless there is new information".
As reported, Golubeva has decided to resign, the minister told the press today.
The politician learned today that before even the Interior Ministry's analytical report on the work of the services on May 9-10 was ready, the prime minister has decided to yield with the National Alliance's pressure and is not ready to support her.
She said that in order that national security should not be threatened by an unstable government, Golubeva has decided to return to the parliament as a lawmaker.
LETA also reported, National Alliance's Saeima group and board have demanded that Karins fire Golubeva following the events at the monument to Soviet soldiers in Riga's Pardaugava on May 9 and 10.
If Karins and coalition partners do not take into account the National Alliance's opinion, the party said it would quit the ruling coalition and recall its ministers from the government, the National Alliance said in a statement.