Parties tight-lipped about weekend coalition talks

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Representatives of "Jaunā Vienotība" (New Unity, JV) and "Apvienotais saraksts" (United List, AS) are currently making few comments about progress in government formation talks, reports Latvian Radio.

According to unofficial sources, a specific agreement on the division of responsibilities among ministries has not yet been found, Latvian Radio said.

Though representatives of the political forces are currently quite tight-lipped, Edgars Tavars, the head of the Saeima faction of the United List, hinted that there was some progress in the negotiations over the weekend.

"This was, as the colleagues of Jauna Vienotiba said, silent diplomacy. A fair exchange of information took place. A more extensive comment from our side is expected in the afternoon after Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš's meeting with the President," said Tavars.

JV and AS disagree in connection with the proposed distribution of positions in the next government, a hurdle that will have to be overcome before a government declaration and plan can be signed. Seven weeks have now passed since Saeima elections on October 1. The third party that in what is expected to be a three-party coalition is the National Alliance (NA). Such a coalition would control 54 of 100 Saeima seats.

The three parties have signed a memorandum of cooperation , in which, among other things, the political forces set the goals of improving national security, improving health care, ensuring Latvia's energy self-sufficiency and committing to fight against corruption. An agreement was also reached that a new Ministry of Climate and Energy will be created.

JV has also proposed a division of responsibilities in the new government, where it would have six ministries and the post of prime minister, while AS and NA would have four ministries each.

"The talks during the holidays have brought more clarity. The intensive meetings have advanced the understanding of the situation," said Ainars Latkovskis, head of the New Unity Saeima faction.

Not being able to reach agreement would be a source of shame for experienced politicians, the leader of the National Alliance, Raivis Dzintars, suggested.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and President Egils Levits are due to discuss the government formation process again late Monday afternoon and provide an update after their meeting.

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