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Kristovskis survives vote of no-confidence

  • 2010-11-09
  • Oskars Magone

The newly appointed foreign minister faced a call for dismissal just one day after taking up the post.

RIGA - Latvia's newly appointed minister of Foreign Affairs, Girts Valdis Kristovskis, has narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence as coalition members rally to support the minister.

Kristovskis was accused by opposition parties of "unacceptable viewpoints in a democratic society" following the publication of an old e-mail correspondence in which the new minister appeared to agree with extremist views - including that ethnic Russians should not receive equal medical treatment. 

The vote was called by the opposition parties "Par Labu Latvija" and "Saskanas Centrs" just one day after Kristovskis took office. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis denounced the vote, saying that it was a political attack based on groundless allegations.

Kristovskis' fate was thrown into doubt when Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs, one of the leaders of coalition partner ZZS, publicly denounced the minister. The party later said, however, that it would request an investigation into the e-mail correspondence, but that it's members would not vote against the newly formed government of which it is a part.

A total of 36 Saeima members voted for Kristovskis' dismissal, whilst 51 voted against. 12 Saeima members abstained from voting.