KPV LV wants Gobzems as Interior Minister; Kariņš rules him out

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The KPV LV is prepared to work in a Krišjanis Kariņš (New Unity) led government, the party's chairman Atis Zakatistovs told members of the press December 19.

However, the party also said it would put forward former prime ministerial nominee Aldis Gobzems for the post of interior minister, along with Didzis Šmits for economy minister and Ieva Krapane for welfare minister.

Zakatistovs confirmed that the party's Saeima group had a free vote on the ministerial candidates and that they were not unanimous, but that these candidates received the most votes. The politician refrained from answering how many of the party's MPs supported each of the candidate.

When asked why Gobzems was being put forward for interior minister and whether or not he is qualified to take the post, Zakatistovs refrained from commenting.

Serious doubts have been expressed over former lawyer Gobzems' ability to obtain the highest-level security clearance that would be required to take the helm at the Interior Ministry, which includes oversight of the state police, security police, border guards, internal security bureau and citizenship and migration departments, among others.   

President Raimonds Vējonis has yet to formally nominate Kariņš, and in the past has said he wants power of approval over candidates for key ministries including the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry. 

In an interview with LTV December 20 Krišjānis Kariņš ruled out the possibility of Gobzems becoming Interior Minister, or taking up any post in a government led by him. 

The New Conservative Party objected to Gobzems' candidacy and apparently managed to convince Kariņš, who came out with the rejection after a meeting with the New Conservatives. 

KPV LV has already refused to change Gobzems' candidacy, but Kariņš has given KPV LV time until December 21 to reconsider. 

With this, the New Unity's coalition talks have effectively come to a standstill.

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