Right-wing alliance looking increasingly unlikely

  • 2004-08-26
  • Baltic News Service
RIGA - Relations between Parlia-ment's right-wing heavyweights - the ruling People's Party and oppositional New Era - have apparently grown cooler again, with both parties' leaders skeptical of the chances of an alliance and forming a new right-wing government.

People's Party parliamentary faction head Aigars Kalvitis said New Era's statements issued lately did not make him feel optimistic about the two parties drawing closer.
He cited the unwillingness of New Era to jointly submit and prepare proposals for solution of problems of tenants of denationalized residential buildings after the cancelation of ceillings rent.
Kalvitis also said New Era was pushing the issue of distribution of ministerial portfolios during talks between the two parties.
"We have even heard that New Era's parliamentary faction has already prepared the lists of ministerial portfolios although we have not even reached the talks on forming a government," said Kalvitis.
But New Era's leader, former Prime Minister Einars Repse, denied Kalvitis statements.
"He is lying if he said this," said Repse. He said New Era had not talked about ministerial portfolios with the People's Party.
"This issue was not touched at all, and it means that the People's Party needs a reason to announce that the People's Party cannot cooperate with New Era if the People's Party is now stating this publicly," Repse speculated.
He said New Era did not want to submit joint proposals with the People's Party regarding cancelation of ceilings rent because these proposal were not well prepared.
"This issue has nothing to do with cooperation of the two parties," said Repse.
He added that talks of the two parties would lead to nothing if the People's Party failed to join them without a true wish to form a right-wing government.
Repse did add, however, that so far the two parties did not have any disagreements regarding major issues during talks.
"The People's Party had a chance to ascertain that it is possible to cooperate with us. Now it is their decision," said Repse.
Kalvitis said it was not possible to launch talks on forming a new government if no common language was found on conceptual issues. "We will not oust this government as long as we are not sure that a better government can be formed. For the time being there is no such alternative and we will not cause instability in the country for whims," said Kalvitis.