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Unity wants Greens/Farmers to consider replacing Duklavs but will not demand his resignation
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    Unity wants Greens/Farmers to consider replacing Duklavs but will not demand his resignation

    RIGA, July 17 (LETA) - Unity party has called on the Union of Greens and Farmers to consider a new candidate for agriculture minister but will not demand the resignation of current Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs (Greens/Farmers) in light of the minister’s involvement in the so-called “oligarch conversations”.

    Unity vice-chairman Edvards Smiltens told journalists following today’s meeting of the coalition cooperation council that some Cabinet ministers participated in the “oligarch conversations” and this cast a shadow on the government’s work at large. Unity is therefore calling on the Greens and Farmers to consider naming a new candidate for agriculture minister in order to strengthen the coalition and the government.

    Asked if Unity might join the opposition’s calls for Duklavs’ resignation, Smiltens said his party would not support these calls because this would mean a threat to the coalition and the government.

    Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said that Duklavs had had given his statement to the Corruption Prevention Bureau and the State Revenue Service. If the examination of his asset statement reveals any irregularities, there will be a reaction, the prime minister said.

    For the time being, though, Kucinskis does not see any reason to “answer this question emotionally”. He added that he supports the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary committee for probing the “oligarch conversations” and voiced hope that the panel will not busy itself with populism.

    As reported, several Unity MPs have called on the State Revenue Service to check the information submitted on Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs' income declaration in the wake of the leaked ''oligarch conversations''.

    The politicians point out to a taped conversation involving Duklavs from 2010, which has recently been leaked by the weekly news and current affairs magazine Ir, where Duklavs is heard requesting a "favor" from one of Latvia's so-called oligarchs and then Riga Freeport board chairman Ainars Slesers. Duklavs said in the conversation with Slesers that he indirectly owns a piece of land ''through one or two companies'' within the port's territory, which he would like to sell for "15 million".

    The MPs point out in the letter that ''it is possible Duklavs owns real estate within the territory of the Freeport of Riga, which he has not declared in his income declaration''. The MPs thus request the Revenue Service to verify the information submitted in Duklavs' income declarations the past seven years.

    The parliamentarians call on the Revenue Service to pay especial attention on whether or not Duklavs has included in full all the properties he may own directly or indirectly.

    Meanwhile, Duklavs denied that he owns such a piece of land. "This is nonsense. People have nothing else to do. I do not read magazine Ir," he said.

    The State Revenue Service has informed that it has yet to receive this application from the MPs, but said that once it does it will look into Duklavs' income declarations.

    • Published: 17.07.2017 17:45
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