Friday, October 19, 2007

End of elitist democracy? (updated)

Minister of Regional Affairs Aivars Štokenbergs was thrown out of the People's Party (TP) in absentia. In the TP council only Minister of Foreign Affairs, Artis Pabriks voted against such motion. To protest against his colleague's "execution" Mr Pabriks resigned from the post of Foreign Minister. Who could predict that end of just two days ago rock - solid governing coalition and TP would come to such a fast end? The speed of events is extraordinary but not surprising, if one looks retrospectively on Latvian domestic politics since October 2006. It was obvious to me that such coalition government cannot sustain its life forever. But I am still positively surprised about quick coming of an end.

Such development of events allows me to predict resignation of the PM today and possibly snap elections. Government coalition cannot be held together based on common interests - self-enrichment- because common values prevail over the temporary interests. Coalition partners repesent radica, traditional, conservative and liberal ideas, thus it is only obvious that it is falling apart in front of our eyes. Coalition Council should convene in an hour and most probably after the council meeting PM should resign.

Does it ring in the end of elitist democracy in Latvia? I very much hope so, because those 4000 people who came yesterday in front of Saeima is a sign, that spell of welfare oblivion is broken. However, the future of citizen's activity is very much in hands of opposition parties. If their activities would constructively lead to snap election it would really end the elitist and oligarchic emocracy in Latvia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Artis Pabriks is talking on public radio and reiterates the news, that PM did not accept his resignation. To me suspicios news is the fact that PM has reminded the minister of foreign affairs that he must finalize the Latvian-Russian brder treaty exchange of documents. Does it mean that stability of the governing coalition was based on special agreement with Russia?
Koalīcija vienojas par budžetu, steigsies ar tā izskatīšanu


It is 15:00 CET and the coalition council meeting just ended. Governing coalition has agreed to pass the budget next Wedneday and then start discussions with trade unions. Weird not to say more, because rational way would be to have three party discussions (government, trade unions and employers confederation) within budget preparation process. LETA announced that budget is planned with 1% surplus. Latvian transport supremo Ainārs Šlesers announced that the wage increase could take place while curtailing the budget surplus. Policemen, teachers and doctors trade unions demand wage increase. Iresponsible government has lived to the point when they fight inflation by raising salaries to state officials. These policies are incompatible and government can blame itself for the lack of legitimacy, because nobody forced them to forge elections and usurp the power. Therefore, the end of present government saga would come next week right after there is high possibility for Saeima not to be able to pass next year's budget.

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