Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Relative calm or preparation for worst news?

Last week in Latvia the public space was full of conflicting news about the domestic infighting. The governing gang is still in power but it somehow feels that smaller gang fractions are not satisfied with the changing rules of the game. That means that they are getting out of the control, and that probably explained hasty and outright irresponsible announcement of the PM - that "there are rings of former paratroupers, KGB spies and present SAB operatives who rund the country". Yesterday the president convened the State Security Council session. At the end of the session president did not have anything to say, the minister of interior announced that there is a gang in Latvia terrorizing state officials and PM had nothing tangible to add at all. Ironically, the biggest news that came out of the State Security Council was the fact, that the incumbent speaker of the Parliament, Gunārs Daudze (member of the Latvijai un Ventspilij political party, whos head is sitting under house arrest facing embezzlement and insubordination to the state officials charges) is being elected as the new secretary of the Council. Also, yesterday the Russian president signed the Latvian-Russian border agreement into law, nd it meants that now the agreement must be finally exchanged between two country's officials.

The State Security Council ended as expected and prime minister's extravaganzas were hushed down. While journalists asked president Valdis Zatlers bout his opinion about the suspension of the head of the Anti Corruption agency (KNAB) his answer was evasive. He answered that he does not agree with haste in such decisions made and leaves it to the government special comission led by the Prosecutor General Jānis Maizītis. It is strange that Jānis Maizītis has not come up with the announcement about the illegality of PM's actions while temporarily suspending Mr Loskutovs from KNAB duties. First, the PM had the right to suspend him right after the State Control review was announced in May and not 4 month later, and second, the right to suspend KNAB head has Parliament in case the KNAB head has breached he law as stipulated in the mandate. PM action was delayed, and delay was probably caused due to the fact that former president Vaira Vīķe Freiberga was still in the office when the report from State Control ofice came. Thus, political games after government's endorsed president is in the office started last week.

Political games could be called also remodelling of the political landscape in Latvia and it actually started ith the election of Gunārs Daudze as the news speaker of the parliament. Now, there are reshuffles in the government on agenda. Today, Fatherland Union (TB/LNK) meets with PM to discuss the assignment of the minister of economics to their party, as it was stipulated by the coalition agreement. The TB/LNNK head of parliamentary fraction is afraid that PM is changing existing rules (Grīnblatam radies iespaids, ka premjers atkāpies no koleģiāla lēmumu pieņemšanas modeļa un koalīcija atgriezusies pie tā sauktā 3+1 modeļa, kāds tas bija, tēvzemiešiem ienākot valdībā, proti, koalīcijas lēmēju kodolu veido TP, ZZS un LPP/LC). Disagreements are there and it is no surprise but what makes me laugh is the announcement of the governing Peoples Party fraction head Māris Kučinskis prior TB/LNNK reps. meeting with the PM. Mr Kučinskis announced that "TB/LNNK positions are very weak because in the present situation with disbalanced economy all the blame for economic ills are directed against the PM, and he has nowhere to get help from."

Whatever announcements members of governing coalition do not make, the fact is that "the King is naked". The government is bare and illegitimate in the eyes of the public opinion, thus the decision of the elite to play the hard ball - all or nothing. The hrd ball is played in the precarios times when relations with Russia are warming up and border agreement was just signed into law by the president Putin. Last week PM Kalvitis came up with the announcement "that relations between Latvia and Russia should be expanded in cultural and conomic sphere, because both countries are culturally close". Last week it was the Constitutional court that came with the announcement about the compatibility of the border agreement with the Latvian constitution would be reached on October 30, 2007. After the UNO General Assembly meeting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Artis Pabriks announced that his homologue Mr Serguei Lavrov might arrive to Riga. It would be more that obvious that if the border agreement was signed in Moscow then officially signed & ratified agrement should exchange hands in Riga, because there are two to sign border agreement or there are always two to dnce tango. Shall see, how the official exchange of agreement shall procceed, and whether Constituational Court decision would be in accordance with already ratified document. There are many questions still to be answered during October, and the question still stands, whether there should be preparation for worst news?


Janek said...

What the hell is going on in Latvia? It is really hard to follow. Are there any "good guys"?

mel said...

I don't thing there are many "good guys" left active in national politics. There are a few, such as Foreign Minister Pabriks. But the dirty nature of Latvian politics for over a decade now has caused most "good guys" to quit politics and left the dregs and corrupt ones.

I'd venture to guess that 3/4 of the Saeima should be under indictment for one thing or the other, and a good number of the cabinet too. And you have a corrupt doctor as head-of-state?

This is why you have mini versions of Cesis, Rezekne and Plavinas showing up in Ireland... If any country really needs to clean house, it is Latvia.

Baltic said...

To Janek:

Aye, the situation looks rather grim, and I do not see the way out without snap election (following Polish scenarion:) Mel answered instead of me and look also into next blog entry, and next week the political landscape should become really hot here.

mel said...

Sorry Veiko, wasn't trying to answer for you, but it's hard not to comment sometimes when things are so near the brink!

Anonymous said...

I founded your post on other lang

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