PM nominee Gobzems starts talks with potential partner parties

Prime Ministerial nominee Aldis Gobzems of the KPV LV political party said November 27 he was starting talks with all parties elected to Saeima about the possibility of forming a coalition, with the exception of the Harmony party, the largest in Saeima.

However, even with Harmony, Gobzems suggested that "KPV has always said that it hasn't got any [red] lines with regard to the other parties, KPV has always said it has problems with certain political principles that until now have been included in Latvian politics."

Asked directly if he was referring to Harmony specifically, Gobzems shot back: "I have answered this question, you can interpret it how you want."

"Today we will start the process of talks with other parties with a steady rhythm... the talks will start with [us] listening, not pressuring but listening," Gobzems said, adding that he wanted to get to know all 100 Saeima deputies as he does not already know them.

Also speaking on the Morning Panorama news show, Harmony deputy Andrejs Klementjevs said his party could not be expected to support a government that did not include it in coalition talks.

"We can not offer support where we are not at the table and can not influence the process. We are a party with our own programs and ideals, and we can not run away from that," said Klementjevs. 

On November 26, President Raimonds Vējonis gave the controversial Gobzems two weeks to try to form a government, following the failure of previous nominee Jānis Bordāns of the New Conservative Party to do so.

However it remains uncertain whether Gobzems will be able to persuade other parties on board given his populist style and relative lack of experience in the political sphere. There are also questions over whether he can obtain the necessary security clearance to perform the duties of Prime Minister which necessarily entail knowledge of sensitive material and state secrets. The full vetting procedure could take several months, the security services have indicated. 

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