Ašeradens possibly lined up for PM post

In the event the ruling coalition parties fail to reach agreement on expanding the coalition, Finance Minister and chairman of the New Unity party Arvils Ašeradens could be nominated for the position of Prime Minister, several sources have told the LETA newswire in what were described as "off the record" comments June 2.

Ašeradens' advisor Kristine Mennika told LETA that Ašeradens would not comment on the rumors and LETA provided few clues about how well-placed its sources might be.

Latvia's government coalition held talks Friday afternoon on further work after last week's presidential election, but no tangible results emerged from them.

The presidential elections last Wednesday have exposed cracks in the New Unity-led ruling coalition. As reported, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) was elected as the next president of Latvia but without the support of the United List and the National Alliance, which are the two political forces in coalition with New Unity.

The presidential elections have prompted widespread speculation that the ruling coalition could be expanded, or, failing that, completely reformed.

LETA outlined a scenario in which Ašeradens could be appointed as the next prime minister, while the current Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš would take the Foreign Minister's office currently held by Rinkēvičs and the Finance Minister's portfolio would then return to Jānis Reirs. New Unity would also keep the portfolios of the Education and Science Minister and Justice Minister, and possibly add the Interior Minister's portfolio.

In this case, other ministerial portfolios would be shared between the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and the Progressives, both of whom are currently in opposition. However, it is currently unclear which party would appoint the next Health Minister and Climate and Energy Minister, LETA suggested.

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