Government dissolves when Saeima fails to pass budget

  • 2004-10-27
  • From wire reports
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 People´s Party voted against it. Former Finance Minister Gundars Berzins of the People´s Party claimed that the proposed increase was the highest among all EU member states. In defense, the People´s Party said their vote was against the Indulis Emsis led government and not the budget.

The People´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 ¨pro-Moscow¨ 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.