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Tuesday 20.08.2019 | Name days: Bernhards, Boriss

Latvian parties’ talks with the president fail to outline a prime minister candidate

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUParties that met with Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis on Thursday, 18 October, failed to name prime minister candidates they would support. Nevertheless, parties did confirm the desire to form as wide a coalition as possible by continuing talks with all parties except Harmony.

Commencing talks with political parties regarding a possible prime minister candidate, Vējonis met with New Unity, Union of Greens and Farmers, National Alliance ‘All for Latvia!’ – ‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’ and Attīstībai/Par! representatives this Thursday. The president will also meet with representatives from New Conservative Party, KPV LV and Harmony.

In talks with the president, NA representatives described the good and the bad sides for each scenario, as well as the strong and weak points of prime minister candidates, as confirmed by the party’s co-chairman Raivis Dzintars. He did not say, however, which of the current candidates his party finds the most appropriate.

«We do not want to draw any red lines,» said the politician.

According to him, red lines are drawn by too many, which reduces the chances of Latvia getting a stable government.

National Alliance politician Roberts Zīle said talks with the president were constructive and useful. The party also explained its opinion in regards to government formation talks, which have been continuing for two weeks. When asked about results of talks, Zīle said parties have yet to reach the point of government formation.

He explained that the Saeima is fractured. With that, there are no reasons to expect the government to be formed soon. At the same time, the party noted that a wide coalition would be a pre-condition for stability.

During the meeting with Vējonis, UGF mentioned its readiness to form a six-party coalition. «We told the president we are prepared to work in the next government as part of a six-party coalition,» said UGF chairman Armands Krauze after the meeting. Politician Edgars Tavars also added that the conversation with the president included the topic of forming a five-party coalition.

According to UGF representatives, parties that received the most mandates in 13th Saeima elections should be the ones to decide on the prime minister candidate. With that, UGF refrained from naming a specific party it would like to see in charge of the government.

Krauze also said that the president also shared his opinion on government formation talks. UGF was told a clear opinion that Latvia’s foreign policy and defence sectors should remain unchanged.

New Unity is of a similar mind in relation to formation of the new coalition. The party’s representative, Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said after his meeting with Vējonis that the next government coalition should be as wide as possible, and New Unity would support cooperation with all parties except for Harmony. The president also agreed that the new government should be sufficiently stable and decisive.

New Unity did not name the person it would like to see in the seat of prime minister, saying that the party’s board will decide on that. Rinkēvičs did not say when the meeting could take place.

Rinkēvičs explained that New Unity had an exchange of good ideas with the president. Vējonis presented the party with his criteria for the new government. The party agreed with him.

Representatives of Attīstībai/Par! were the last to meet with the president on Thursday. After the meeting, politician Artis Pabriks said parties may hold a second round of meetings with the president. He hopes that in time, politicians may agree on specific offers.

During Thursday talks with the president, it became clear what he wants to see from the new government, said Pabriks. Attīstībai/Par! also offered the president with their list of tasks for the possible coalition. «Of the things he told us, I would say 90% is already included in our programme,» said Pabriks.

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