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Latvian political analyst: Straujuma’s cabinet fell as result of backroom deal

Resignation of Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma was an expected move, but it was performed in a strange way. Not a word was expressed hinting possible government resignation at the recent Straujuma’s Unity Party congress that took place two days before the resignation, political analyst Juris Rozenvalds has said to the Latvian Radio 4.

According to him, Straujuma’s resignation should be treated as a result of a backroom deal, which, however, does not say good of the Unity Party. As Rozenvalds notes, there were no serious debates on the government during the Unity congress. “We see a political force that is acting based on some intrigues instead of principles,” the analyst says.

He also explains who and why is to gain profit from extension of the ruling coalition at the Latvian parliament (now, it hosts the Unity Party, the Union of Greens and Farmers and the National Alliance). “As for the government reshuffle and what it would look like, whether it will consist of the same member parties or the Latvian Association of Regions will join it, which was already mentioned as one of possible scenarios, I think it was a wish of the group led by Solvita Āboltiņa (leader of the Unity - EADaily). The aim is to reduce influence of the National Alliance with which Āboltiņa’s relations are not good,” Rozenvalds believes.

Rozenvalds’ colleague, political analyst Ilze Kazoka has also expressed bewilderment about the prime minister’s resignation. She says there is no evident reason for it to happen right now.

“There were probably some backroom negotiations that resulted in a decision to reshape the Cabinet. Maybe, Straujuma suddenly thought that a new prime minister would make the government stronger… There can be a number of reasons. However, why this is happening now, only Straujuma and a limited number of people know,” continues Kazoka.

“It was evident she was exhausted by her work, that she preferred to see another Cabinet of Ministers,” the analyst says.

She notes that the role of the president was a decisive one when building the previous coalition. “Straujuma’s resignation is undoubtedly is a result of processes taking place inside the coalition and the opposition; it can also bring about serious changes in Latvian parties. That is why I think that not the parties are to decide now. They are very unstable and unreliable now. It is the president who needs to assume the decisive role and find a shape of the government that will be more effective than Straujuma’s one. I do not know if he succeeds in it, it a very difficult task with the parliament we have after the last elections,” Kazoka concludes.

Laimdota Straujuma suddenly announced her resignation yesterday, on Dec 7. Candidates to the prime minister’s post are expected to be named later this week.

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