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Latvian Economy Minister withstands third no-confidence vote

Arvils Ašeradens/flickr.com
On Thursday, 10 January, Saeima declined a request from Harmony deputies on voicing no confidence to Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Deputies from Harmony faction, KPV LV faction and deputy Inguna Rībena from the National Alliance voted in favour of Ašeradens’ dismissal, accounting for 35 votes in total. 53 deputies voted against the minister’s dismissal. Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece abstained in the vote.

KPV LV and New Unity, in which Ašeradens is a member, are holding talks on possible cooperation in the next government coalition. Still, KPV LV still has not completely confirmed their stance on supporting New Unity’s representative Krišjāņis Kariņš’s government.

The dismissal request was submitted in relation to Saeima’s previously approved request addressed to Ašeradens on the legality of Economy Ministry’s performed state support for subsidized electrical energy.

Saeima deputy Ivars Zariņš justified Harmony’s request by saying that «Economy Ministry not only performs and covers up illegal activities, but also openly ignores legislative principles established in the Constitution, thereby undermining the founding truth of our country – that the power in Latvia belongs to the Latvian people and that the executive power is held responsible for its actions before representatives of the nation». He stresses that «such attitude from the executive power cannot be tolerated, including from the departing government. This is why Saeima was asked to hold a no-confidence vote against the minister».

The parliamentary Enquiry Committee or no fewer than ten Saeima deputies are able to submit requests regarding no-confidence votes for the Cabinet of Ministers, the prime minister or any individual minister.


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