PM job no walk in the park says Straujuma

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The nine months in which Laimdota Straujuma filled in as a 'temporary' Prime Minister were not easy, she told her cabinet colleagues Monday, just two days before she is expected to be handed a new mandate that - in theory at least - could see her keep the job for another four years.

Speaking at the final meeting of a cabinet she largely inherited from predecessor Valdis Dombrovskis, she thanked her colleagues for their work.

"The times were complicated, but I believe that the government has worked well and many things have been done. We have managed to complete most of the things listed in the government's action plan," Straujuma said.

She also bid farewell to four cabinet members who will not be sitting down at her next scheduled cabinet meeting next week, the most high-profile of which will be Finance Minister Andris Vilks. Despite winning widespread international acclaim for his skill in steering Latvia out of deep recession to robust growth, a disillusioned Vilks has vowed to keep out of politics for the forseeable future.

Vilks is set to be replaced by Unity party colleague Janis Reirs.

The three parties in the outgoing coalition will return to form the next government following parliamentary approval but changes in the relative strengths of the parties will ensure Straujuma's second stint in the hotseat is likely to be even tougher than the first.

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