Latvia's future coalition begins dividing ministerial posts

With the future government of New Unity with the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) and Progressives, not only ministers will change, but also Saeima officials – from committee leaders to the Speaker of the Parliament, who could be a ZZS politician, reports Latvian Television on September 5.

In the autumn session, one of the first jobs for the Saeima will be the approval of the new government, including the replacement of the Saeima Speaker.

Viktor Valainis of ZZS is mentioned as one of the candidates for the Saeima Speaker's post.

The current Speaker of the Saeima, Edvards Smiltēns (United List), whose political force is now left in opposition, indicated that changes to the coalition will also lead to changes in the management and composition of parliamentary commissions. Smiltēns expressed hope that the process of change would be smooth.

Politicians have already started informal talks on the division of responsibility, but what the new Cabinet will look like depends on the Prime Minister's candidate Evika Siliņa (New Unity) and party talks.

The biggest clarity on job allocation in the next government is for New Unity. The party could retain all the current ministerial positions and still receive another portfolio of a ministry, for example, Rihards Kozlovskis could take the post of Minister for the Interior, while the post of the Minister for Foreign Affairs could be held by Krišjānis Kariņš.

Overall,  New Unity could have 6 to 7 ministerial posts in the next government.

ZZS hopes for 4 to 6 ministerial portfolios in the future government.

It is known for the time being that ZZS's Armands Krauze could receive the position of Minister for Agriculture. The party's wish list also includes the position of Transport Minister for Uldis Augulis and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

It should be noted that the Transport Minister's chair has also been included in the wish list by Progressives.

For Progressives, the smallest number of ministerial posts is planned. The party could receive the post of Minister for Defense and the Minister for Health. 

However, the division of positions and responsibilities is likely to change further. For example, interest in the post of Minister of Culture has been shown by both Progressives as well as ZZS.

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