Latvia: Pres. Rinkevics urges formation of broadest possible coalition government

Latvia’s President, Edgars Rinkevics, met with representatives of the United List alliance to discuss the formation of a new coalition government, LETA reports. He said that forming a government with the broadest possible parliamentary majority was still possible. Earlier, United List refused an invitation from prime minister-designate Evika Silina to form a four-party coalition government with New Unity, the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS), and the Progressives.

United List representative Edvards Smiltens said that it would be in the interests of national security that the outgoing three-party coalition of New Unity, United List, and National Alliance continue. United List asserts that ZZS is still under the influence of Aivars Lembergs, former mayor of Ventspils, who is serving prison time for corruption and is under US sanctions. Lembergs is chairman of the For Latvia and Ventspils (LuV) party, which is a partner to ZZS and has 2 MPs.

Silina assured that any minister in her future cabinet who was influenced by sanctioned individuals, including Aivars Lembergs, would be dismissed. At the same time, she pointed out that many United List politicians used to work together with Lembergs. Silina said that she preferred a government of five parties but conceded that the possibility of forming such a broad coalition was unlikely, given that the National Alliance refuses to work with the Progressives.