United List will not attend coalition talks Thursday

The United List political force will not go to coalition-forming talks on Thursday, August 31, the Saeima deputy Igor Rajevs (United List) confirmed in an interview with Latvian Radio.

The United List  will discuss further action in the Saeima faction today. “If our wishes and recommendations are not taken into account, then we will not be in a government that does not respect our views,” Rajevs said, stating that if the parties cannot agree with each other, they should not go together in the coalition.

The United List prefers its current coalition partner, the right-of-center National Alliance, to the left-of-center Progressives. The United List will discuss its next course of action in its Saeima faction today, but Rajevs did not rule out the possibility of the United List working in the opposition rather than join a government model it doesn't much like.

"If our wishes and recommendations are not taken into account, then we will not be in a government that does not respect our opinions," said Rajevs.

Prime ministerial nominee, Evika Siliņa (New Unity), has offered in a model that would include New Unity, the United List, the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and the Progressives.

The United List also has reservation about the inclusion of the Greens and Farmers (ZZS) in the government, most particularly its continued link to Aivars Lembergs, sanctioned by the U.S. and serving a five-year prison sentence for graft. Many of the United List's most prominent figures were former ZZS politicians tired of being linked to Lembergs, and as Rajevs pointed out, the Green Party of Latvia is now part of the United List political grouping, despite ZZS' name.

"If ZZS were to get into power, it is important which ministries it would get, because there are ministries responsible for security and economy," said Rajevs. 

Commenting on the United List's Wednesday's meeting with President Edgars Rinkēvičs, Rajevs said the president listened to the party association and “he liked some things in our recommendations”, but Rinkēvičs has been very strict about forming a government because it cannot be dragged on any longer.

“I think a decision in one way or another will be taken this week,” the MP said.

If prime ministerial cadidate Evika Siliņa of New Unity fails to form a workable government, it is assumed that new candidates for the post of prime minister will be nominated, including from the United List, said Rajevs. However, he did not reveal whether the party woul put forward its founder Uldis Pīlēns – who is not an elected politician and recently made a failed run for the presidency – for the post. 

"I can't say yes or no right now, but we are working on it," Rajevs said.


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