Coalition saga takes a new twist

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Assumptions that a definitive coalition deal might be imminent, three weeks after parliamentary elections on October 4 were looking premature Tuesday when the Unity party of Prime Minister Laimdota Sraujuma said it would hold talks with additional parties. 

As talks between the three parties in the current ruling coalition seem to be stalled with parties wrangling over how many ministerial portfolios each deserves, Straujuma said she would also be turning to the newly-elected Regional Alliance and Latvia From The Heart parties to sound them out about possible cooperation.

Speaking on LTV's morning news show Rita Panorama Tuesday, Straujuma said: "Yes, we will be talking with the parties that got a smaller share of the votes to see how we can cooperate in parliament."

The next week would be taken up with drafting a government declaration, with more dogfighting about ministerial posts next week, Straujuma said. 

"Next week we will see how things crystalize when we have a declaration and then we'll start talking about jobs," Straujuma said, declining to confirm or deny if either or both of the new parties might be brought into the coalition but signalling that the move was "a signal" to the existing coalition partners.  

According to provisional results, the Regional Alliance will control 8 mandates in the 100-seat parliament with Latvia From the Heart holding 7 seats.

The three parties in the existing coalition would control 61 seats in total. 

The new Saeima is due to have its first sitting on November 4.


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