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PM resigns without successor

  • 2007-12-05
  • By Talis Saule Archdeacon

GOING, GOING, GONE: Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis stepped down on Dec. 5. It was still unclear at press time who will replace him and what the next government will look like.

RIGA - As The Baltic Times went to press on Dec. 5, Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis was in the midst of resigning from the post of prime minster, effectively ending his government's term in power.  President Valdis Zatlers, according to reports, was then set to decide on the best person to act as head of government and form a new Cabinet, however no definitive timeline is in place for the decision.
As of Dec. 5 it was unclear what the make-up of the new government will be, and most importantly whether the opposition, center-of-right New Era party would take part.
If not, if is likely that the current four-party coalition would continue working under a new Cabinet chief and several new ministers.

The current government will continue until a new one can be formed. Zatlers has expressed the need for urgency in forming the new government, but has also cautioned that the government needs to be strong and stable.
"This is the time when we have to unite behind a strong government. The aim is very simple 's a competent, stable, long-term government," the president told journalists on Nov. 30.
In addition to announcing the candidates for the new prime minister, Kalvitis was due to give an assessment of his activities in office and recommendations for the future government. The president requested on Nov. 30 that the outgoing PM deliver the assessment before leaving office.
"I invite the prime minister to present an analysis of his government's work. This could also be  called a report on the state of the nation 's on tasks that have been completed and ones that need urgent attention to have a successful new government," the president said.

During the final coalition council meeting on Dec. 3, only the parliamentary agenda and the government session were discussed. No special issues were addressed.
Moreover, Kalvitis told journalists that the incumbent government was not planning on addressing any serious issues until a new Cabinet was formed. He expressed hope that negotiations would be completed by the New Year.
The only candidate at press time to have been officially named to replace Kalvitis is MEP Valdis Dombrovskis by New Era.

The ruling People's Party has named six possible candidates for the post, but it is widely rumored that Interior Minister Ivars Godmanis from Latvia's First Party/Latvia's Way is the most likely person to replace Kalvitis since the Greens and Farmers Union is beset by legal troubles and the electorate might disapprove of another prime minister from the People's Party.