Harmony party names potential prime ministerial candidate

The Saskaņa (Harmony) party might make Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, former minister and current head of the Certus think tank, its PM candidate for the upcoming October parliamentary election, it said June 4.

Appearing on LTV's morning news show Rīta Panorāma, Dombrovskis confirmed he has recently become a member of the Saskaņa party.

While nominally being 'Social Democrats', Saskaņa nevertheless holds socially conservative positions on many issues. The party opposes recent reforms to make Latvian the main language of instruction in Latvian state-supported schools and uniquely among European social democrat parties, oppose ratification of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe initiative that aims to reduce levels of violence against women. 

While Dombrovskis refused to confirm news of his possible candidacy for head of government, one of Saskaņa's leaders and its most prominent member Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs confirmed to LTV that he and Jānis Urbanovičs, another party leader, have nominated Dombrovskis as the candidate.

"But we'll still be deciding on [June] 18th when we have a council meeting," said Ušakovs, stressing that the nomination isn't yet final. 

Dombrovskis is a former Economics Minister and Education Minister. He entered politics after an academic career as a member of the Reform Party, which was absorbed into the Unity party in 2015. 

Harmony, an opposition party, currently holds 23 seats in the Latvian 100-seat parliament and traditionally draws on strong support from the sizable ethnic Russian minority in Latvia. 

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