Latvia’s new government led by Laimdota Straujuma (Unity) has been approved by the Saeima and takes office starting from today, January 22. Laimdota Straujuma becomes the first female Prime Minister in the history of Latvia.

The coalition partners have already completed work on the coalition agreement and the government's declaration. All coalition parties have acknowledged their willingness not to amend the 2014 state budget, which is seen as positive sign for political stability until the next elections in October.

While addressing the Parliament, the then-prime minister designate pledged that her government will be that of continuity and cooperation. She promised that her Cabinet of Ministers will continue the work of the previous one led by Valdis Dombrovskis.

After meeting Laimdota Straujuma on Tuesday, January 21, the President of the Republic of Latvia Andris Bērziņš commented that he believes the new government will be fully capable. The president had no conceptual objections to the government’s declaration presented by the prime minister designate.

The newly approved government is ready to take office and will be able to withstand the pressure it may face in the time remaining until the elections, Laimdota Straujuma said earlier.

The new government consists of the current coalition parties - Unity, Reform Party, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK and six independent MPs - and the Union of Greens and Farmers, which was an opposition party until now.

Latvia’s government will now have six new ministers - Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs (Greens/Farmers), Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Einārs Cilinskis (All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK, VL-TB/LNNK), Defense Minister Raimonds Vējonis (Greens/Farmers), Welfare Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers), Education and Science Minister Ina Druviete (Unity).

Former Economy Minister Daniels Pavļuts (Reform Party), Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Unity), Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns, Welfare Minister Ilze Viņķele (Unity), Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprūdžs (Reform Party) and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) will leave their posts.

Photo: Ernests Dinka, The Saeima Chancellery
Latvian Institute, 22.01.2014, Politics