Kučinskis backed as PM candidate ahead of elections

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Incumbent Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis will be the prime ministerial candidate for the Greens and Farmers Union political grouping (ZZS) ahead of parliamentary elections to take place in October, Armands Krauze, a leading member of the ZZS in his capacity as leader of the Latvian Farmers Union (LZS) sub-party confirmed March 23.

Speaking on Latvian Radio, Krauze said Kučinskis had led the government well for the last two years and was the natural choice to carry on. 

He also confirmed that after the elections ZZS does not see opportunities for cooperation in a potential coalition with the Harmony (Saskaņa) party or the pro-Kremlin Latvian Russian Union. Apart from that though, ZZS has not drawn up any "red lines".

Though often referred to as a political party, and in most cases acting like one, ZZS is in fact a grouping of several smaller parties. Krauze said that as the model had "proven itself" there was no need for the sub-parties to amalgamate into a single party.

In the last several parliamentary elections, the official candidate for the PM's position was controversial Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs. However, with ZZS expected to do well in the forthcoming elections and quite possibly become the dominant party in the next coalition, Kučinskis is a more credible candidate to carry on in the position he has filled since February 2016.

Saturday, March 24 will see further discussion of the looming election campaign at the party congress of Latvian Farmers' Union.

As previously reported by LSM, the next Saeima elections will take place in Latvia on October 6.

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