Zatlers not to dissolve parliament

  • 2009-04-01
  • Kate McIntosh

In his highly anticipated address, the president said he would not dissolve the legislature (photo courtesy of the office of the president of Latvia)

RIGA - Latvian President Valdis Zatlers will notfollow through with threats to dissolve parliament despite a series of strict demandsremaining unfulfilled by the new government.

In a Jan. 14 ultimatumto the previous government, one day after Riga was rocked by riots, thePresident vowed to initiate the dissolution of parliament should demands not bemet by the March 31 deadline.

Zatlers, who did notstipulate a new deadline, expressed confidence that remaining amendments to theConstitution that would empower voters to call snap elections via a referendum wouldbe approved by the new government by April 8.

In a patriotic charged address to thenation on March 31 Zatlers said the political situation had now changed andthat dissolving parliament would only create further economic and politicaluncertainty in the recession hit Baltic State.

He also acknowledged that progress hadbeen made on most of his demands mentioned in the ultimatum, including theformation of a new government, amendments to parliament election law and theappointment of a new director to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau(KNAB), which has been without a head for more than six months.

An economic stimulus plan and reformsto the system of national governance are also underway.

 "I know very clearly that we cannot allow thepolitical crisis to escalate to its final level.  I expect the governmentand Parliament now to propose the route which Latvia must take, and I expect them to do so in thevery near term," he said.