Kaimiņš retains leading position at KPV LV

Artuss Kaimiņš, a leading figure in the KPV LV party, has survived a no-confidence motion within the party and is to resume as the deputy head of the party group in parliament, reports LTV and Latvian Radio January 16.

The party vote was split evenly with seven votes for and seven against removing Kaimiņš from the post. 

The motion was initiated after apparent splits within party lines. Before the meeting, party MP Didzis Šmits told Latvian Radio that the vote was called because Kaimiņš is expected to voice the opinions of the faction, as opposed to personal opinions.

Specifically, after KPV LV leader Aldis Gobzems' candidacy for Interior Minister was ruled out by Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) during coalition talks, Kaimiņš publicly asked Kariņš "not to include former ministers and KPV LV representative Gobzems" in the new government, so that talks continue more smoothly.

Gobzems eventually withdrew his candidacy but renounced support for a Kariņš-led government. 

A former actor and talk show host, Kaimiņš is a controversial figure in Latvian politics, known for his showmanship and bringing along a camera to the corridors of power.

Such was his popularity that he all but single-handedly brought the Latvian Association of Regions into the parliament in 2014, and later on repeated the trick after splitting away and establishing the KPV LV party, which won a whopping sixteen seats in the 100-seat Latvian chamber in the 2018 election.

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