New Unity proposes five-party Latvian government

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The New Unity party, which has the initiative in forming the new Latvian cabinet, has proposed a five-party coalition without the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and the Harmony party.

That's what Krišjānis Kariņš, the party's nominee for PM, told the press December 17 after a party meeting.

While he would prefer a six-party coalition, Kariņš said that "there are several parties that rule out the idea of cooperating with one another".

This presumably refers to the New Conservative Party's (JKP) refusal to cooperate with ZZS, who they see as an oligarch-controlled party. 

Under the proposal, the coalition would be made up by the New Unity, Development/For!, JKP, as well as KPV LV and National Alliance. Each party would get three ministerial portfolios.

New Unity's cabinet proposal in case of a Kariņš-led government:

  • New Unity: PM, Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry.
  • Development/For!: Environment Ministry, Health Ministry, Defense Ministry.
  • New Conservative Party: Transport Ministry, Education Ministry, Justice Ministry.
  • KPV LV: Interior Ministry, Economics Ministry, Welfare Ministry.
  • National Alliance: Culture Ministry, Agriculture Ministry and the Demographics Ministry, which would be a new ministry formed in this cabinet.

Kariņš noted that the parties' replies to his proposal are expected by Wednesday, and if they agree it'd be time to nominate ministers for the new cabinet.

Latvian government talks have been stalling since the October 6 election. After KPV LV and the New Conservatives failed to muster support for their cabinet proposals, New Unity, which is the smallest party elected in the parliament, has assumed a leading role in coalition talks.

A five-party government such as proposed by Kariņš would enjoy a slim majority of 53 seats in the 100-seat chamber. 

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