Kariņš could be Latvia's next prime ministerial nominee

Take note – story published 5 years ago

A representative of the smallest party in the Latvian parliament could be the next candidate to attempt to form a government, with early signs suggesting he is in with a good chance of doing so.

The New Unity party (formerly known just as Unity) is ready to enter consultations with political parties forming a new government under party chairman Krišjānis Kariņš, he told told members of the press December 12.

''We have seen so far that some parties have been incapable of forming the new government, while others have said that they are not ready to form the new government,'' Kariņš said.

At the same time, he confirmed that several parties have expressed their support for his candidacy, and that New Unity is prepared to lead the next round of government formation talks.

President Raimonds Vējonis has given the parties a few days to get their heads together before announcing his next prime ministerial nominee following the failure of first Jānis Bordāns of the New Conservative Party and then Aldis Gobzems of KPV LV to garner enough support to form a government following elections on October 6.

Earlier this week Vējonis had meetings with heads of the 13th Saeima groups to discuss the further government formation process.

According to the President's Chancery, the majority of Saeima groups told Vējonis that they were ready to reach agreement on one prime minister candidate who would be supported by the Saeima majority.

"Vējonis respects political parties' wish to continue consultations in the coming days so they could agree on supporting one candidate for prime minister" the President's Chancery said.

Kariņš, born in 1964, is currently serving as an MEP. He was born in the United States and moved to Latvia in the mid-1990s. He served as Economics Minister 2002-2004 and became an MEP in 2009.

Formerly the dominant force in recent government coalitions, New Unity saw its parliamentary representation reduced by two thirds in October's election. Nevertheless, with the rest of the Saeima seats distributed between numerous parties with fairly similar numbers of seats, Kariņš could take the role of honest broker between the competing interests.

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