RIGA - The Latvian government collapsed suddenly on Oct. 28 when Parliament rejected the 2005 budget by a 53 to 39 vote with five abstentions. Latvian law states that if a government cannot pass a budget, than it must be dissolved.
The budget, which sought to increase spending by 23 percent over last year, was defeated when coalition member the PeopleÂ´s Party voted against it. Former Finance Minister Gundars Berzins of the PeopleÂ´s Party claimed that the proposed increase was the highest among all EU member states. In defense, the PeopleÂ´s Party said their vote was against the Indulis Emsis led government and not the budget.
The PeopleÂ´s Party immediately said that negotiations would begin with all right-wing parties to form a new government as soon as possible. Opposition party New Era, however, hailed the end of the government, calling it Â¨pro-MoscowÂ¨ and claiming that its nomination of Ingrida Udre to the European Commission had embarrassed the state.
President Vaira Vike-Freiberga must now find a suitable replacement for the position of prime minister.