Latvia’s minority coalition government, led by prime minister Indulis Emsis, has stepped down. It follows parliament’s rejection of its 2005 budget. Emsis became Europe’s first Green prime minister in March of this year. Ever since the three-party ruling coalition has been shaky, holding only 47 seats in the 100-seat parliament.
In September the government narrowly survived a no-confidence vote, staving off a political crisis in the country which joined the European Union and the NATO alliance this year. Today one of the coalition members, the Popular Party, actually voted against the budget plans. Since Latvia, a former Soviet republic, gained independence in 1991, it has seen a succession of short-lived governments. So far the outgoing premier has not commented on the collapse of his cabinet.