New Latvia government gets to work in first session

  • 2014-11-04
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Latvia’s government holds its first session today (photo: creative commons)

Latvia's newly formed government has held its first sessions today with Latvian President Andris Berzins urging its members to be vigilant and take responsibility for its decisions. 

"The mandate given by the voters is not only a great honor and trust, but also a responsibility: for each of your decisions and actions, for each vote and for each word. Today is the beginning of your great four-year examination, which will be judged by the strictest of juries - your voters," said Andris Berzins, cited by Latvian public media. 

Another important challenge will be Latvia's presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will offer a chance to demonstrate the country's ability to take responsibility, President Berzins said.

One of the most pressing tasks for the new Saeima is the next year's budget. Its priorities should concern security, quality education, and accessible healthcare, LETA reports.

Pro Russia party Harmony has won the largest number of seats (24) in Latvia's government following elections on October 4.

The Unity political party has 23 seats, Union of Greens and Farmers - 21, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK (VL-TB/LNNK) - 17, the Alliance of Regions of Latvia - eight, and For Latvia From The Heart - seven.

Unity MP Dzintars Zakis has temporarily suspended from his party membership following reports of alleged vote buying in the Latgale province.

(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)