National Alliance, United List dig in their heels over coalition model

In the negotiations for the formation of a possible new coalition, the United List (AS) party and especially the National alliance (NA) are trying to emphasize that they feel they have insurmountable ideological differences with the Progressives (P) party, according to Kaspars Briškens, the leader of Progressives on the "Morning Panorama" program of Latvian Television Octber 7.

Currently, in the negotiations on the formation of a new government coalition being led by the New Unity (JV) party, a possible three-party coalition formed by New Unity, the National Alliance and United List is the preferred option of AS and NA. However, New Unity advocates for a broader coalition including the Progressives.

Briškens himself previously stated that the urgent political agenda in Latvia is more important than ideological disagreements. New Unity also believes that there are no such insurmountable obstacles for a four-party coalition, but AS and NA remain convinced that only a three-party right-of-center coalition is viable. 

Briškens said that the party he represents is "on the same page in virtually all issues" with New Unity, and still believes it can convince NA and AS of the advantages of  four-party coalition in direct talks with both parties next week.

Evaluating the first talks on a possible coalition held this week, Briškens said: "The public had the opportunity to watch a peculiar theater of the absurd during this week, where with increasing eloquence the parties United List and especially the National Alliance are desperately trying to emphasize these seemingly insurmountable ideological differences. We emphasize, that such issues as the rule of law, the fight against corruption, the fight for good governance are not ideological issues - they either exist or they don't exist."

The leader of the "Progressives" also expressed his opinion as to why potential coalition partners do not support a wider coalition: "It is understandable that in any coalition which the Progressives join, we will take a very strong stand against the influence of lobbies. That is probably why we are a potential thorn in the side of any politician. who looks more at this source of power than at the welfare of society."

As previously outlined by LSM, a three-party coalition would give NA, AS and JV a narrow 4 seat majority in the 100-seat Saeima. Including the Progressives would bump the majority up to 14 with 64 seats.

Negotiations continue, with Prime Minister and New Unity leader Krišjānis Kariņš set to update President Egils Levits on progress. 

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