RIGA - Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development) told the press today that Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins' (New Unity) demand for her resignation is an attempt to transfer the responsibility and find a scapegoat in the not so successful crisis management.
She said that the prime minister as the head of the team has the right to demand resignation of a minister, and her duty is to accept it.
"I believe that this is, in fact, the prime minister's attempt to transfer the responsibility and find a scapegoat in a situation that, diplomatically, can be called not very well coordinated and smooth crisis management that should be performed by the prime minister. Obviously, every manager has his own team motivation and crisis solution methods," said Vinkele.
Asked whether she plans to step down, she said: "What is the alternative. It is not a good style and against my principles to hold to the door."
Vinkele said that she learned about the prime minister's demand from her colleagues because the prime minister had convened a cooperation council meeting to discuss the Covid-19 vaccination plan. Vinkele said that she had been ready to participate in the meeting, but she had not been invited to it.
Asked about the potential future minister, Vinkele said that she sees a potential candidate in her party, but did not name the candidate.
As reported, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) on Tuesday filed a motion of no confidence in Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development) and, in line with the cooperation agreement, has called on For Development/For to name a new candidate for the health minister, LETA learned from the prime minister's office.
In line with the coalition agreement, Karins today informed the coalition partners that he will sign documents demanding Vinkele's resignation on January 7.
Vinkele will remain in her office until Thursday, but Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development) will step in as the health minister until a new health minister is appointed.
Karins said that this morning he met with all coalition partners, and with For Development/For separately, asking them to nominate a new, energetic and capable candidate for the health minister.
Karins has on several occasions voiced discontent with the Health Ministry and Vinkele's performance in combating the spread of Covid-19 but his most recent criticism has been over a lack of a clear Covid-19 vaccination plan.