President: Latvia coalition talks have made "significant" progress

The latest round of talks between President Raimonds Vējonis and the political parties represented in the Saeima have made "significant" progress, the president said December 28.

However, he has not moved to nominate any new candidate to officially attempt to form a government.

A statement released after the talks by his office said: "During the government-building talks, significant progress was made at the end of the year to approve a government in January 2019 and take urgent action, first of all, to out the financial sector in accordance with the recommendations of the Moneyval report."

The Moneyval recommendations he mentioned concern measures to clean up Latvia's banking sector to rid it of its image as an international money-laundering hub.

The President said he welcomed the fact that four political parties had agreed to form the "core" of the next administration, namely the New Conservative Party, For Development / For!, the National Alliance and New Unity.

However, that core would control a tantalising 50 seats in the 100-seat Saeima, with a majority required for passing legislation, so support would likely have to be found from among other parties. This however is problematic given the antipathies existing between some of the "core" parties and the others.

"It is important to agree on support for one candidate for post of Prime Minister by the end of next week and find compromises to start work on the promises made to voters and increase public confidence in politicians and political processes in the country as a whole," the president added.

He repeated his earlier statement that there is no political crisis in the country and by acting responsibly, there is a chance to establish a stable government.

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