Saeima rejects opposition's no-confidence motion against Karins

  • 2023-06-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Saeima today rejected opposition parties Latvia First and For Stability's vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity).

42 MPs voted for the no-confidence motion, 53 voted against it, there were no abstentions.

During Saeima debates preceding the vote, Latvia First leader Ainars Slesers claimed that the current government had not been able to come up with feasible improvements necessary for economic development.

If a new, functional government was formed by New Unity, Union of Greens and Farmers and the Progressives, Latvia First would support it in all matters important to the state, said Slesers.

Taking into account that incumbent President Egils Levits does not want to get involved to help the Greens/Farmers join the government, Slesers predicted that the no-confidence motion against Karins would be turned down today, and that the government could fall only after Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) takes office as the president of Latvia on July 8 and NATO summit is over in Vilnius. Slesers explained that Karins himself would be unwilling to continue as the premier if the government makeup remained unchanged.

Kaspars Briskens, chairman of the Progressives' Saeima group, emphasized that the coalition was not capable doing its job and that he mostly heard about internal disputes between the parties forming the coalition. Briskens extensively criticized the government and commented on what a new, more capable government should do.

It is necessary to adopt a new model of economic development, stressed Briskens. The government should also have commenced energy support measures for households a long time ago. He went on to mention the rising cost of living, which prevents many families from buying a home, as an important issue that has to be resolved.

MP Janis Patmalnieks (New Unity) then said that, despite the opposition parties' claims, the government was doing its job just fine. There are important decisions taken every week for social and national security, as well as to promote economic development, said Patmalnieks.

As an example, Patmalnieks said that an important Cabinet regulation had been passed earlier this week regarding the use of state forests for wind energy development, which would ensure new electricity generation capacities in Latvia and lower prices for consumers. He also underlined the importance of the national defense service, the continuing support for different social groups to help them cope with high prices of energy resources, the minimum income reform to help the most vulnerable social groups, and others.

As reported, Saeima convened for an extraordinary meeting today to consider a motion of no confidence in Karins, filed by opposition parties Latvia First and For Stability.

The no-confidence motion was tabled because "the plans of Karinis' government to transform the economy and overturn the economic decline have failed, while his wish to expand the coalition after the presidential elections has effectively paralyzed the government's work," commented Latvia First and For Stability.

LETA also reported, lawmakers Ainars Slesers (Latvia First) and Aleksejs Roslikovs (For Stability) also hope for public support to their proposal to dissolve the 14th Saeima.

Slesers said at a press conference last week that the constitution permits starting the collection of 155,000 voters' signatures necessary to initiate a referendum on dissolution of parliament only from November, at least a year after the current Saeima has taken office.

Until then, the opposition politicians want the president of Latvia to use a similar procedure - to initiate a referendum on the dissolution of the Saeima. The leaders of Latvia First and For Stability hope that either the outgoing President Egils Levits or President-elect Edgars Rinkevics will agree to initiate the popular vote.