Latvia's New Party leader quits

  • 2000-08-24
RIGA (BNS) - New Party chairman Raimonds Pauls, whose popularity as a music composer was seen as the main reason for the party being able to get any seats in the Latvian parliament, on Aug. 21 tendered his resignation.

Pauls did not rule out the possibility of the New Party parliamentary faction members without affiliation to the party forming their own independent faction. At least five MPs are required to form a parliamentary faction in Latvia. Acting New Party leader Ainars Slesers would not comment on further actions by the faction but said he will discuss it with Pauls in the next few days.

Pauls explained his decision to quit the party was based on a wish to act on his own will and be free from ties with any political group. The New Party parliamentary faction and board will meet soon to discuss the situation.

In early May, three New Party MPs - Silvija Dreimane, Ingrida Udre and Imants Stirans - withdrew from the party but remained members of the party's parliamentary faction. Another of the New Party parliamentary faction members, Prime Minister Andris Berzins, has never been a member of this party.

It means that the New Party parliamentary faction now includes only three New Party members - Ainars Slesers, Romans Mezeckis and Jevgenija Stalidzane.