Gobzems demands Saturday decision from New Conservatives

Prime Ministerial nominee Aldis Gobzems on December 6 gave a deadline to the New Conservative Party (JKP) to decide whether or not to join his proposed coalition government.

Speaking on LTV's Morning Panorama show, Gobzems said JKP have until Saturday evening to say yes or no to his plan, which forsees a five-party coalition comprising his own KPV LV party, JKP, the National Alliance, New Unity and the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS).

From their formation, through the election campaign and into coalition talks, the New Conservatives have continually insisted they will not work with ZZS, which they regard as an oligarch-controlled party with serious corruption issues.

For them to do a U-turn and enter government alongside ZZS would risk them losing a huge amount of credibility with their supporters, many of whom turned to the new party because of its tough anti-corruption stance and specifically anti-ZZS stance. 

As recently as December 5, JKP leader Jānis Bordāns said his party had not changed its mind.

He confirmed as much on December 6 by issuing a call on Facebook to form a four-party government without ZZS and saying it would still have a majority in the new parliament with 53 seats. Bordāns went as far as to say that it would gladly cede the two ministerial positions offered to ZZS in the new government. 

"The government is ready, everything is laid on a plate. It's laid out for the New Conservative Party. They are offered four ministerial portfolios where they can implement their ideas," Gobzems said.

"Is the JKP afraid to take responsibility?" asked Gobzems, in what looks like another act of brinkmanship by the man who has taken to describing the highly fractured political situation as if voters had given him an overwhelming mandate. In fact KPV LV controls 16 seats in the 100-seat Saeima.

"The government can only be torpedoed by the JKP. I would like to ask the JKP to think and contemplate whether torpedoing is a right and a stately step by 8 p.m. on Saturday evening," Gobzems said. 

If JKP fails to climb on board with ZZS in the new coalition model, it seems likely President Raimonds Vējonis will turn to a third prime ministerial candidate, two months after parliamentary elections divided Saeima between seven different parties.

However, Gobzems' gambit did not appear to have worked with JKP leader Jānis Bordans responding on social media by saying his party was ready for four-party talks excluding the "unacceptable" ZZS, and that he was confident KPV LV would support this position.

Therefore it would now seem it is Gobzems' turn to do a U-turn and offer a four-party coalition instead of a five-party coalition - or see his dream of becoming prime minister put to the sword.

Neoficiālie aprēķini, balstoties uz provizoriskajiem CVK datiem no 1078 iecirkņiem no 1078

Data: CVK. Updated at 07.10. 16:57

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