RIGA – The parliamentary faction of the New Era party, the most popular in Latvia, on Monday demanded the resignation of Special Task Minister for Societal Integration Nils Muiznieks amid dissatisfaction over the growing tensions in society due to the education reform.
New Era has also called on the entire government of Prime Minister Indulis Emsis to resign, although it will not submit a resignation request for the entire Cabinet.
As New Era MP Edgars Jaunups said, "At this point the resignation request for the entire Cabinet is not under preparation."
The faction did however say it planned to file the petition demanding Muiznieks' resignation on Monday. Parliament, most likely, will have to consider the petition next week.
New Era parliamentary faction head Krisjanis Karins told reporters following the faction's Monday meeting that it would speak with the oppositionist For Fatherland and Freedom party about Muiznieks' resignation.
"The mess that has developed around education reform is only worsening the integration," said Karins. "Muiznieks is inactive in his office."
Still, he stressed that New Era has given poor marks not only to Muiznieks, who is a member of Latvia's First Party, but of the entire Emsis' Cabinet. "The present Cabinet fully depends on the leftist forces, and therefore New Era urges to oust this government and subsequently form a right-wing government," said Karins.
"[Right-wing forces] should sit down at one table and discuss what kind of a government would be best and most stable," said Karins. He said "New Era does not set out any preconditions for the talks, New Era does not demand itself either the premier's post, or a specific number of portfolios."Former Prime Minister and New Era chief Einars Repse backed the move. "During my time in office as well Muiznieks very groundlessly pushed all the efforts over, explaining the education reform off his shoulders. We did not see any activity here. Everything was pushed onto the shoulders of the education and research minister, like it was not a policy accepted by the entire Cabinet and Parliament."
Repse noted though that Muiznieks resignation request was not triggered by a specific policy decision by the minister but was just New Era's first step in demonstrating its negative attitude towards the government. "All this Cabinet should be aware that it should step down, and it won't take long before we propose it," said Repse.