media punk

Latvian politics are widely believed to be correlating to the moon phases. Around full moon one can surely expect more weird decisions and unexpected turns than usual. The latest full moon phase seems however to never end. After more than a month after early elections (those were held on the 17th of September, after the parliament was dismissed with the support of almost 95% of voters in a referendum this summer) a very unstable coalition for the new government has been created. But the prospects for it are quite dim, to say the least.

The coalition of three parties (PM Dombrovskis party Unity/Vienotiba, ex-president Zatlers Reform party and the National Alliance) would have had a majority in the Latvian parliament Saeima, albeit not big (56 votes out of 100). It was criticized already from the beginning, because it left out the winner of the elections, the Russian-friendly social democratic populists Harmony Center. Also, the National Alliance did not want to accept several central points in the coalition agreement, including the ones concerning citizenship and language questions.

The struggle to keep the three parties together was hard enough, yet it experienced a major blow after the so called “six pack” — six MPs from Zatlers Reform party — announced just a day before the first meeting of the newly elected parliament that they are leaving the party to become independent MPs.

That is not a very nice beginning for a coalition named “the coalition for reforms and the rule of law”, to say the least.

Without the “six pack” the coalition would not have the necessary majority in the parliament. The group keeps assuring though that they will support the coalition. There are serious doubts though about if and how they will keep this promise. Also, their move might be just a hint of other possible splinter groups inside Zatlers Reform party. Then again, it is scandalous enough that they left the party and chose to stay in the parliament.

So, now we have an ever shining full moon and a six pack to kick off the party of political madness. Time to bring some drunk werewolves in the picture? We did not have to wait long for those to appear. Latvia’s president Andris Berzins explained this week that he chose to support the current coalition (according to our constitution it is the president who nominates the prime minister, who then forms the government, and finally there is a vote of confidence in the parliament) because we need a stable government to finalize implementation of the international lenders’ (IMF, World Bank, European Commission) program. In other words — to work out the budget cuts for the next year.

The deterioration of Latvia’s sovereignty has indeed reached a peek point. It hardly matters anymore which political parties we vote for. Our politics are designed somewhere else, by people who have not been elected and have no accountability either. The fact that there is not a single real political party in this country, just politico-economical groups who use political influence for their own interests, is only a tip of the iceberg of our lost sovereignty.

It is extremely bizarre that in the days when haircuts up to 90-100% for private bondholders in Greece are discussed, Latvia’s political leadership appears to be a simple management team for IMF. Latvian people do deserve something better.

Didzis Melbiksis

Multilingual citizen. Europe, Sweden, media, politics.

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