No No-Confidence, But No Confidence in Government
The Latvian government has just survived a vote of no-confidence, but that doesn't mean the people have any confidence in the current government. Anti-government protests continue from the previous week, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, spurned on by the PM's suspension of Aleksejs Loskutovs, the countrys leading anti-corruption official, as well as the Cabinet of Ministers' vote in support of his dismissal.
The no-confidence vote was organized by the opposition parties, but they only managed to get 38 votes in their favour, versus 56 against and one abstention and five absent votes. The opposition had hoped that their recent popularity would be enough for the vote to succeed, but they failed to get the simple majority necessary to dissolve the current government. NGOs observing political transparency in Latvia have accused the Prime Minister of corruption, criticizing the suspension of Loskutovs as being politically motivated, as he had been investigating alleged irregularities in donations to the Prime Minister's Peoples Party. The Prime Minister justified his decision by citing alleged improprieties in the anti-corruption bureaus accounting.
At the moment, while the current government remains in power, its popularity remains low, and its future has yet to be determined. Most importantly, the parliamentary vote on the firing of Loskutovs is planned for the near future, and its result may determine whether the current government stays in power or steps down.