Latvian Prosecutor's office started criminal investigation about the speaker of the parliament, Indulis Emsis for giving false statements to the judiciary, today. Tomorrow Latvian president Valdis Zatlers is planning to depart to New York for the annual oppening of the UN's general assembly. In case president Zatlers would leave Latvian soil tomorrow, according to the constitution the speaker of the parliament would become the highest authority of the republic. Because the second highest authority tonight is facing the situation of criminal investigation we face moral dilemma of having "almost a criminal'' as the head of the state. For that reason probably the State Security Council would be convened, and imagine for what reason...because the incumbent speaker of the parliament is unable to resign do to the reasons known only to him (his own asnwer to journalist's question was, "that he does not know how to do that").
President and PM have reiterated throughout the week that the speaker should finally make up his mind. Today most parliamentary fractions have repeated such plea but speaker has answered that he would speak only through his lawyer. There is rule of law in Latvia, but holders of political office in Latvia mostly forget that prosecutor's office would dot present criminal charges against highest officials of the state without real evidence at hand. It was prosecutor's office who announced that they have received another batch of evidence from foreign sources (sic. Washington or Brussels), and probably that is the explanantion for the swift move of the Prosecutor's office.
Also former chief of the PM bureau Mr Jurgis Liepnieks was presented embezzlement charges in Kempmayer vs. Latvia case.
What would one conclude here, in the situation when Latvian TV journalists wait in the house of the parliament for the speaker to come out with clear announcement about his decision? It is a continuation of changes in Latvian politics and gradual transformation from traditional to rational legal authority. The traditional governance style of the 1990's or so called traditional rule of Lembergs & Skele is getting over, such transition was never taking place smoothly, thus we might expect some additional changes in the Latvian political landscape. Transition from traditional to rational legal authority also explains inability of Indulis Emsis to resign. Simply his party "patron", the acting maire of Ventspils, is literally holding speakers balls in his hands. Thus the speaker probably has resorted to Mr Lemberg's wishes, and is simply unable to utter his own judgement without permission of the patron. Another explanantion could be the fact that Mr Emsis truly believes the conspiracy theories that his party boss and other shabby advisors have been teeling him about Soros networks of international jewry. In this case I feel really sorry for him, because it shows how shallow is the thinking pattern of the average Latvian MP... But what could we expect further on from here?
Fall of the present government was predicted, but to predict extraordinary elections would be too premature now, when prosecutors office has not come up with additional "news":) The dissatisfaction of the general public is omnipresent and latest polls show that government's ratings are at the lowest ebb. The ""Sword of Damocles"" has finally fallen, and to those who do not constantly read my blog these were words of former president Madam Vike -Freiberga in her farawell speach to the parliament this June. One thing is sure, that if the post-Soviet nomenklatura does not want to change in evolutionary way, then they have to be pushed with the help of post-modern revolution - active involvement of civil society and Western partners. Lets wait for more news, because Latvian TV crew waiteth in the Saeima for the speaker to finally act!
P.S. Its 21:18 CET and LTV just announced that the Speaker of the parliament just resigned and gave up his parliamentary mandate, hurrah!!! What a nice present, and here we cant avoid symbolism, for the patron of the already former speaker of the parliament in his 54'th birthday under house arrest. Also, shame on you Prime Minister! Just two days ago you announced that in the list of Lembergs stipend receivers thare is NOT a single member of the present parliament! What shall we think of your integrity again?
Lets wait now for future readjustments in existing coalition and possible replacement of existing coalition partners with new ones. In case prosecutors office would come up with more stipend receivers next week, the fall of the government is probable even prior budget being accepted for the 2008 fiscal year and the "Lembergate" might be followed with snap elections. Why? Peoples Party has her core electorate and the unpopularity of PM is well balanced with good showing of Aigars Stokenbergs and Artis Pabriks ratings. The Greens & Farmers are desperate without their patron who sits under house arrest, the Reconciliation Centre would steal votes from First Party (their ratings are just horrible) and New Era party has not regrouped itself after last elections. It means that Peoples Party could come out of snap elections even stronger than before. Lets wait till latest news on party ratings and ones from prosecutors office , it is getting interesting indeed!