Gobzems proposes government of unelected, unnamed "best of the best"

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The increasingly chaotic process of forming a new government in Latvia took yet another bizarre twist December 7 with prime ministerial nominee Aldis Gobzems saying he would invite unspecified non-elected individuals to form a "government of professionals".

Wearing a black roll-neck sweater and checkered sports jacket with pocket square, Gobzems said he had "done everything possible to offer maximum compromise" in negotiations with parties but that the results had not been satisfactory.

"For this reason today I informed our partners... that I will offer what we promised to our voters," which he described as a "coalition with the people". 

Gobzems pointed out that according to the constitution of Latvia, the prime minister nominee can invite non-politicians to take up ministerial posts and he said that was what he intended to do, with all ministers - except himself as Prime Minister - coming from outside the political parties.

"I will invite the best of the best," Gobzems said, while declining to name a single person who might qualify for such a description.

"I want to put this to the vote - for or against the best that Latvia has to offer," Gobzems said, suggesting that a vote in Saeima could take place December 13.

The plan for the distribution of ministries among coalition parties he was touting a day earlier appeared to have been abandoned, with the erratic nominee now promising to return to a campaign pledge to dramatically reduce the number of ministries to six from the current 13.

There would seem to be little chance that Saeima would back the installation of a government consisting mainly or entirely of unelected officials, particularly given the potential threat to democracy that might pose with the possibility of a power struggle between the legislature and the executive. 

It could be either another remarkably bold gambit from a candidate who has certainly not lacked ambition, or possibly a way of making an offer so radical it is sure to be rejected and Gobzems can then lose the chance of becoming prime minister while depicting himself as a radical thinker done down by a hidebound parliament.

Gobzems said that if his proposals are rejected he would call on President Raimonds Vējonis to dissolve the Saeima and start the process of new elections, though there is no obligation on Vējonis to do so.

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