President continues consultations with parties on potential coalitions

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Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis continues discussions with all seven political parties elected to Saeima October 19, having spoken with several yesterday.

The meetings at Rīga Castle will see parties offering up their visions of possible coalition governments for Vējonis' consideration. Ultimately he will have to nominate someone as a potential Prime Minister to knit together a coalition.

Nearly two weeks of informal talks between the parties themselves have seen several possible coalition models discussed, and even the subsequent distribution of ministerial portfolios, but none of the plans seems to have gained universal approval from the parties that would need to form a coalition capable of holding a majority in Latvia's 100-seat parliament.

October 6's elections saw parliamentary seats distributed in such a way that voters have caused the political fixers a real headache. The largest party - Harmony, with 23 seats - is the one party no other party seems willing to work with on principle, leaving the remaining six parties to sort something out.

However, five of those parties all have fairly similar numbers of seats, making it difficult for any party to act as a clear leader. Meanwhile the two smallest parties, New Unity and the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), have the most high-level ministerial experience in recent governments, but the potential exclusion of ZZS, for example, would leave key ministries such as Defense and Finance in the hands of newcomers. Similarly, New Unity's Edgars Rinkēvičs is now Latvia's longest-serving Foreign Minister and generally well-regarded, but coalition models floated so far have been notable for failing to say in any detail what would happen at the Foreign Ministry.

Friday sees Vējonis meeting with the three largest parties: the New Conservatives, KPV LV and Harmony, which may find itself the only party not in power. However, that also raises the question of whether democracy would be best served by having everyone except Harmony in government and entrusting them with the important task of acting as a responsible and effective opposition in Saeima on their own.   

Vējonis is unlikely to make any statement on the discussions until they have concluded. 

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