Start drafting government declaration, says President Levits

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The partners of the promised new government coalition – Jaunā Vienotība (New Unity, JV), Apvienotais Saraksts (United List, AS), and the Nacionālā apvienība (National Alliance, NA) – can start work on their government's declaration, according to President Egils Levits after meeting with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (JV) November 14.

Levits pointed out that progress has been made in the government formation negotiations regarding work directions and the distribution of areas of responsibility in the next government. Therefore, the work on creating the government's actual joint declaration can begin, the president said. 

"In the last few days, significant progress has been made in the coalition negotiations regarding the direction of the coalition's work, as well as the division of areas of responsibility. Work on the government declaration can now begin. It will take place in working groups that will start working tomorrow," said Levits.

Levits said he expects that Kariņš will submit the first draft of the declaration in the next week's time. If it is satisfactory, Levits will formally nominate Kariņš as a candidate for the post of prime minister.

The three parties have signed a memorandum of cooperation in which, among other things, the political forces set the goals of improving national security, improving health care, ensuring Latvia's energy self-sufficiency and committing to fight against corruption. An agreement was also reached that a new Ministry of Climate and Energy will be created.

It is expected that the Ministry of Defense will be under the control of the National Alliance, but this ministerial position will likely also have the position of an associate minister or deputy minister from the United List, possibly with a civil defense-related brief.

Meanwhile, despite the formation of a new Ministry of Climate and Energy, environmental responsibility is likely to remain with the Ministry of Regional Development and Digital Affairs, said Kariņš.

Unsurprisingly, vox pops conducted by Latvian Radio and Latvian Televsion suggested the public are not impressed by the lengthy negotiating process. The majority of those interviewed believe that the real reason why the government is still not formed is that the coalition is unable to agree on the distribution of money and ministerial power.

As previously reported, the three-party coalition will control 54 of the 100 seats in Saeima.

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