United List given until Friday to decide on joining coalition

Prime ministerial candidate, Evika Siliņa, is waiting until Friday, September 1, for a United List decision on whether to participate in the offered coalition or not, along with New Unity, the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and Progressives – despite earlier indications that the United List is not interested in a coalition of that composition. 

If there is no answer, the three other political forces will begin to prepare a declaration of the new government, Latvian Radio reports Thursday.

Siliņa invited representatives of the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS), the Progressives, and the United List to coalition negotiations Thursday. As reported previously, the United List did not participate. The formal decision to participate in the coalition or to move into opposition will be taken later, but no later than noon tomorrow.

If no response is received, New Unity, ZZS and the Progressives will begin preparing a declaration of the future government and a coalition agreement on Monday, September 4, being unwilling to wait any longer.

“I see professional people really prepared to come together and work as a united team. I find it difficult to comment on the decision of the United List. It is not possible to continue in this way for a long time,” ZZS representative Viktors Valainis said.

“We've talked further about content issues, about what to do. We keep the door open because we see the benefits of a wider coalition and also see the contribution of the United List to dynamic work. Therefore, we await their decision until tomorrow,” Antoņina Ņenaševa  of the Progressives said.

The President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, continued to point out that a four-party government can still be established if the parties are willing to get together. "I would say that by the middle of tomorrow, the second half, it must be clear. Then, I believe, the Prime Minister's nominee has to go forward. Will a four-party team be able to agree? I don't find it fundamentally important which are these four parties. It is fundamentally important to agree on the issues to be solved: increases in electricity rates, increases in credit interest, inflation, budget, internal security.

"We have so much to do that, well, if we can't agree, we put a stop to this. In any case, a democratic state needs both a functioning government and a strong opposition," said Rinkēvičs on the Latvian Radio broadcast 'Krustpunktā'.

If the United List does decide to reject Siliņa's offer, it would mean that a crisis that started with a stated desire by outgoing Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš to form a "broader" coalition than his three-party coalition with 54 Saeima seats could end up bringing in another three-party coalition with an even narrower parliamentary majority, controlling 52 of 100 mandates.

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