Political experts: Pabriks has good chance of becoming new PM

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The New Conservative Party (JKP) and the KPV LV political parties have lost their trump cards and therefore there's a good chance the president will entrust Artis Pabriks (Development/For!) with forming the new government, political experts told Latvian Radio October 18.

Pabriks, a member of the European Parliament, is an experienced politician who switched his allegiance from Unity to the newly established party union Development/For! shortly before the election. 

PR expert Jurģis Liepnieks said that JKP leader Jānis Bordāns has done everything he can to repel possible coalition partners. He said that politicians usually start calling one another on the election night, and the winners are the ones who have ensured the best possible cooperation with other parties.

Ralfs Vīlands, the head of the Vīlands Associates consulting firm, meanwhile said that following the election KPV LV quickly understood they need to become friendlier with other parties. "JKP thought they'd won and talentlessly cut off the Greens and Farmers Union, making themselves less mobile. It seems some parties haven't understood that the election campaign has concluded and still keep on collecting votes," Vīlands said.

The two political experts concurred that the ruling coalition has catastrophically failed in the election, garnering support of just 27% of the electorate. Given this, JKP and KPV LV would have had to form a joint bloc with 32 parliamentary seats. "Then they could have started a beauty pageant, invite whomever they please and set their own rules. They had good cards, but they were not savvy. They didn't understand the situation on their hands," said Liepnieks.

"Both sirs are now doing everything they can to make Artis Pabriks the Prime Minister," he said, with "sirs" presumably meaning JKP leader Bordāns and KPV LV leader Aldis Gobzems.

He argued that the president will have to take into account that Latvia has voted in favor of change, putting Development/For! in a good situation. 

As concerns the defeat of the Greens and Farmers Union, the two said that this political power should change their leadership as they had been in an extremely favorable position to win. 

Talks between parties have continued for more than a week now, but so far to no avail. President Raimonds Vējonis (formerly of the Greens and Farmers Union) is to start talks with political parties on October 18.

KPV LV and JKP won 16 seats each in the parliamentary election. Development/For! scored 13, the same as the National Alliance party. The Greens and Farmers Union won 11 while Unity got 8. 

Harmony won 23, but no other party wants to form a government with them.

Meanwhile, Pabriks himself on October 18 floated the idea of a six-party coalition that would leave only Harmony as an opposition party and said he would discuss the idea with President Vējonis.

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