Latvian parliament votes down no-confidence motion against PM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-11 23:45:24|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

RIGA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Latvian lawmakers on Thursday voted down a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins proposed by a group of opposition MPs and some "rebel" lawmakers from the ruling KPV LV party, said parliamentary spokesperson.

The proposal calling for Prime Minister Karins' resignation was tabled on April 2 by 11 MPs representing the opposition left-wing Harmony party and the centrist Greens and Farmers Union, the ruling KPV LV, as well as several non-partisan MPs who blamed the prime minister for delaying a reform of Latvia's renewable energy subsidy scheme.

In Thursday's ballot, their petition was rejected by 58 votes to 33.

In January 2019, the parliament passed a resolution ordering the Economics Ministry to urgently draw up a bill to abolish the system where energy consumers are charged the so-called mandatory procurement component, which is included in electricity bills to subsidize renewable energy producers.

According to the parliament's decision, the subsidy scheme had to be phased out by March 31. However, the Economics Ministry has come to the conclusion that a hasty abolition of the subsidy scheme would entail a number of serious risks, including a steep increase in energy prices, investment protection lawsuits and complaints to the constitutional court.

"The risks of legal action can be significantly reduced by providing compensatory mechanisms and prolonging the transition period," the ministry said.

The Karins-led government therefore decided not to scrap the renewable power subsidies on March 31 and ordered the Economics Ministry to work on alternative solutions.