Gobzems out of the picture as candidacy pulled by President

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The chance that Aldis Gobzems (KPV LV) might become Latvia's next prime minister disappeared into the ether December 10 when President Raimonds Vējonis announced that he was withdrawing his nomination from the candidate.

Vējonis made the announcement at Rīga Castle after a brief meeting requested by Gobzems, whose attempts to form a coalition have veered all over the place in recent days, at different times encompassing a five party coalition, a four party coalition and a cabinet consisting entirely of unelected and unnamed appointees from outside the political system altogether.

Emerging alone from the meeting, Vējonis said that as there was no clear majority backing Gobzems' spectulative plans, talks between the political parties would have to begin again.

"I thank him for his role in the government formation process, which unfortunately has finished without a result, but thanks in any case," said Vējonis.

The pair had talked over various different plans drawn up by Gobzems, he went on to explain, but the two week period he had originally given was up without any sign of parliamentary support being forthcoming, so the president had decided to move on as it seemed the personal issues of certain party members were getting in the way of the national interest.

"Discussions with the political parties will continue in order to find an agreeable joint view on who could be the next candidate," Vējonis told reporters, adding that such a candidate might come from within the parties or "from the sidelines".

Immediately after the president finished speaking, Gobzems faced reporters in the hallway outside, where he said his attempts to form a government had been "torpedoed" from the first day and that he had been surprised how many of the political negotiations had taken place in cafes.

He vowed to continue playing a role in the political process but said he believed the country was "rapidly heading towards extraordinary elections".



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