New Unity ready to expand coalition 'if values match'

The potential expansion of the existing coalition would only be possible with political forces that would be willing to accept the values of the New Unity political force, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (JV) said after the meeting of the coalition on Monday, June 5.

The Board of Governors of the New Unity (JV) and its largest party, Unity, as well as the faction represented in the Saeima, unanimously supported the opening of negotiations initiated by Prime Minister Kariņš on a possible extension of the coalition, the JV said. As reported earlier, following the presidential elections, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš announced that he saw the possibility of negotiating with the existing partners – the United List and the National Alliance – on extending the coalition, likely to include the Union of Greens and Farmers and the Progressives.

The JV's representatives stressed that the values of the political association are constant – a national, European, and democratic Latvia whose society would be educated, healthy, and secure for the future.

The JV statement to the media states: "We are strongly in favor of the rule of law, security, the Euro-Atlantic direction, the strengthening of the status of Latvian language, and an inclusive society. At the discretion of the party alliance, these are fundamental values on which the government's work and policies must be based."

The JV said that political partners are also expected to share these values. 

“We as a party and I as head of government will under no circumstances change the basic values or setting. [..] If other forces are prepared to accept the fundamental values, [..] we could then extend the coalition,” noted Kariņš.

The JV statement also states: “Latvia is a legal state and the party association JV does not cooperate with people accused of serious crime and strongly advocates against corruption and theft from the state.”

The JV statement does not specifically mention any accused of a crime, but it appears that it could be the leader of the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) party, 'For Latvia and Ventspils', Aivars Lembergs.

Kariņš, at the press conference following the meeting of the coalition parties, said that his and the JV's attitude towards such individuals could not be changed.

Commenting on the statement by the JV on non-cooperation with the accused, Jānis Dombrava, Saeima deputy of the National Alliance, pointed out that it is worth bearing in mind that the influence of the person accused of serious crimes can be expressed through intermediaries and it is necessary to decide whether this is acceptable.

Kariņš is prepared to advance negotiations with parties outside the coalition on how they would be willing to cooperate. It could start this week.


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