Coalition talks grind on, no sign of breakthrough

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Political parties could agree on the new government's tasks within the next few weeks, representatives of two newly-elected parties, KPV LV and For Development/For!, told members of the press after a meeting October 23, while at the same time being evasive on the question of whether they support a specific prime ministerial candidate.

For Development/For co-chairman Daniels Pavluts that the main topics discussed during today's meeting was the next government's tasks and priorities, and that a consensus among the parties forming the new government should be agreed upon within the next two weeks or so.

KPV LV politician Atis Zakatistovs, who himself is currently involved in an illegal party financing scandal, said that KPV LV and For Development/For are in agreement how the government formation process should move forward. KPV LV and For Development/For hope to form no fewer than six thematic working groups made up of all the potential coalition parties.

Asked how the potential coalition partners will be able to come to an agreement on a prime minister candidate, Zakatistovs replied that the parties are only speaking about content at the moment and emphasized several times that this matter was not discussed.

However the initiative got a quick rebuff when the New Conservative Party (JKP) said it is not planning on participating in any thematic workgroups if the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) is also represented on these workgroups.

JKP party leader and prime ministerial hopeful Janis Bordans claimed JKP has previously offered to set up expert groups to discuss various matters. However, the party believes this must be done in a five-party format, excluding ZZS, the party of current Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis. JKP is opposed to any cooperation with ZZS.

''We wish to change the political culture in Latvia and conduct open and direct discussions among the five parties we see as forming the next government coalition,'' Bordans said.

''We are optimistic that we can work together to solve the current problems Latvia is facing and believe that such a meeting could help up come to a positive result,'' he said.

More inter-party meetings are planned during the rest of the week.

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