Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The 16th government in LV since independence in 1991

According to Latvian Constitution it is the President who asks the future prime minister to form the cabinet (Art. 56). Following political traditions usually it is the leader of the winning political party who leads the cabinet formation after elections. It means that for a month the coordination process (as determined by the constitution) between majority winning political parties|political unions and consultations with the president's chancellery takes place between the elections and the first session of the parliament.

The Unity political union (New Era, Civic Union and Society for Another politics political parties) won the elections and gained a third of 100 member parliament's seats, and Valdis Dombrovskis started forming the future Latvian cabinet. At first there was a chance to form truly formative Latvian grand coalition government, however due to disagreements within Unity political union, at the end the Unity and the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) formed the new cabinet.

Last Friday the first version of the new government declaration became available, and now this 29. page long document is fully accessible for scrutiny. Yesterday the 10th Latvian Saeima (parliament) convened for the emergency session and with the 63 YEA and 35 NAY votes approved the new Latvian Cabinet. In the 16th Cabinet since Latvia restored its independence in 1991 there are now seven ministers from the Unity and six from the UGF party. The new cabinet formation was rather bumpy and thus there are pundits who do not predict the government a long tenure. My personal views together with other colleagues are expressed here. I am more inclined to believe that if Valdis Dombrovsksis would be able to focus on his immense inner qualities he could become the longest serving PM in the Latvian history. It would essentially mean that starting from 2012 onwards Mr Dombrovskis would have to change his present austerity measures discourse to one that would inspire Latvian folks to jump start their political and economic system in new quality. For such discourse transformation there is a dire need to transform antiquated state administrative procedures and agencies. The Latvian Internal Revenue Service and Ministry of Education structure and personnel policies must be overhauled in order to achieve structural changes in Latvian economy. The rule of law without shake up of Latvian courts is impossible and last but not least the mandatory property and tax declaration system must be passed as soon as possible, because it is looooooooong overdue. Thus, if these reforms would be accomplished Latvian people could regain the trust in democratic governance and would most probably follow the new challenges that the new and R&D powered economy would pose.

The Latvian new Cabinet started its work yesterday and with high probability the author of these lines would start facing new challenges in his life. Due to my future job requirements I would not be able to comment on Latvian domestic politics in blogosphere as often anymore. However, I would continue to publish once monthly in the Baltic Times and add to the ongoing scientific research.