While students were finishing their undergraduate studies and their lecturers were busy discussing student thesis's Latvian politicians did not sit still. At least in industrially developed world sound politicians should learn fluctuations of the public opinion and think about their personal ratings. It seems that the majority of Latvian politicians does not follow the negative public opinion because either they simply do not care or they are sure their represented electors are naive enough to forget about their misdeeds until next elections. You may look into March and April pollster data that appears also in this blog, and it shows that the whole Latvian political class is considered illegitimate by the public. The May data from Latvijas Fakti does not show us significant change in public opinion. The only news is that the incumbent PM allowed the First and Latvian Way Party Union (LPP/LC) to come out from the below 5% slump, it was in since September 2006.
While living in his power bubble the member of the Union of Greens and Farmers Vilnis Edvīns Bresis (ZZS), contrary to the ethical standards of not proposing substantial amendments into the bill in its third and final reading, proposed to "screw" the Law on Prevention of money laundering and legalization of illegal financial funds last week. It is the bill that has been pending in the Latvian lawmakers corridors for years, and also Latvia's Western partners expressed their wish to see Latvian MP's passing their anti money laundering legislature already in 2005.
Contrary to the ethos of the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering, including terrorist financing the amendments of Vilnis Edvīns Bresis narrowed any possibility for Prosecutor's Office to solve not only the so called "Mafia cases" of Latvian minigarchic families, but also sizable financial scams. Previously mentioned amendments violated the previously mentioned directive. Thus, the utter changes were the reason why the incumbent president did not sign the dysfunctional bill into law and returned it back to the parliament. Thus, the same incompetent parliamentary majority (including "opposition" Reconciliation Party (SC)) who voted for the Vilnis Edvīns Bresis amendments, will have to reconvene next weeks in order to rid the law of the ill famed amendments (again, and they will receive additional salary for that:) until July 6 now.
Next week the governmental commission also must announce whether the Head of the Anti Corruption Agency (KNAB) Aleksejs Loskutovs wobbling chair would fall or not. The simultaneous wrangling around the money laundering law and governmental commission opining about suitability of Mr Loskutovs to continue his job looks suspicious. The governing People's Party (TP) must pay about 1mlj LVL fine (due to illegal election campaign in 2006) into the state treasury, and in case they get rid of Mr Loskutovs they might skip their virtual bankruptcy. Also Prime Minister's First and Latvian Way party Union (LPP/LC) must pay about half a million LVL into the treasury due to same reasons, and basically would have to follow the same track - bankruptcy. However, if the governmental commission has such members as the Defense Minister Vinets Veldre (TP) and the Head of the Saeima National Security Commission Dzintrs Jaundžeikars (LPP/LC) then I would not be so convinced as to predict due process in evaluating the job performance of Mr Loskutovs. After all the same Mr Jaundžeikars must discuss the suitability of Mr Loskutovs as the head of KNAB, while he openly tried to hush down his son's "drug n' driving" and considers the head of Latvian Intelligence Agency (SAB) Mr Kažociņš who is his co-discussant in the governmental commission unsuitable for the post.
Incompetence and greed to stay at power at any cost describes the present governing coalition. Latvia is governed by minigarchic families and their proxies in the parliament. It is very uneasy feeling among rather numerous members of civil society in Latvia. Parliamentary opposition in the parliament is too fractional at the present moment. The only hope is that those incompetent steps of the members of the governing coalition will reach their critical mass this summer and together with proposed referendum campaign would lead to snap elections later this year.