Precise shape of proposed new Latvian government revealed

The composition of the Cabinet of Ministers proposed by Prime Ministerial candidate Evika Siliņa (New Unity) was officially announced on Wednesday, September 13.

Speaking after talks at Rīga Castle with President Edgars Rinkēvičs, Siliņa outlined her plans for a new three-party coalition consisting of her centrist New Unity party, the conservative agrarian Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and the social democrat Progressives.

As the largest party in the coalition, New Unity will hold the largest number of ministrial posts – seven. ZZS will get four ministers and the Progressives 3. Notably, outgoing Prime Minister Krisjānis Kariņš will carry on in government in the much-coveted position of Foreign Minister. 

  • Prime Minister – Evika Siliņa

  • Minister of Finance - Arvils Ašeradens (New Unity, no change)

  • Minister of Education and Science - Anda Čakša (New Unity, no change)

  • Minister of Justice - Inese Lībiņa-Egnere (New Unity, no change)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs - Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity, formerly Prime Minister) 

  • Minister of Internal Affairs - Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity, has previously held the position)

  • Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development - Inga Bērziņa (New Unity)

  • Minister of Health - Hosams Abu Meri (New Unity)

ZZS will be represented in the government by four ministers, an in addition it is envisaged that the party's Gunars Kūtris will be offered the attractive position of Saeima Speaker. The post also comes with responsibility for deputising for the President as and when necessary. ZZS' allocation of ministries will be:

  • Minister of Welfare – Uldis Augulis (ZZS, has previously held the position)

  • Minister of Agriculture - Armands Krauze (ZZS)

  • Minister of Economy – Viktors Valainis (ZZS)

  • Minister of Climate and Energy - Kaspars Melnis (ZZS)

There will be three ministers from the Progressive party. As it will be their first time in government, none have previous ministerial experience:

  • Minister of Transport – Kaspars Briškens (Progressives)

  • Minister of Defense - Andris Spruds (Progressives)

  • Minister of Culture - Agnese Logina (Progressives)

In order to take office, the proposed government coalition must be confirmed by a parliamentary vote, which will take place on Friday, September 15. There are 100 seats in the Saeima, and a majority is required. The three parties in the coalition have 52 votes between them, plus one more from independent deputy Oļegs Burovs, who has a cooperation agreement with ZZS. 

The outgoing coalition of New Unity, the National Alliance and the United List controlled 54 mandates.  

Siliņa vowed that her administration would work hard "So that people can feel that we see them and can show by our actions that people are our main value. It is clear that a state administration system should be created that meets the needs of both business and citizens," Siliņa said.

"One of my main tasks will be to achieve greater flexibility in various issues required by the state administration. It will require the contribution of every minister," Siliņa said.

President Rinkēvičs told journalists that he had discussed the government's proposed declaration with Siliņa. In Rinkēvičs' opinion, the government's declaration "short, but specific – some tasks are precise with deadlines, some things are more expansive". 

Commenting on the ministers proposed by Siliņa, Rinkēvičs said that the ministers are not completely unknown people, but it would have been better if the composition of the government was announced several days earlier. However, there will certainly be opportunities to listen and question the ministers - both before and after Friday, he said.

"Let's evaluate the government's work after a little time... Now it is premature to speculate what one or the other minister will do or will not do," Rinkēvičs said, noting that now it will be up to Siliņa "to show her ability, energy and desire to solve problems that are important issues for the country".

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