ZZS leader: We won't form government with Harmony

Augusts Brigmanis, a senior figure within the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) political grouping on January 26 ruled out a possible future government consisting of his party and the opposition Harmony party of Riga mayor Nils Ušakovs.

The way the political scene is currently shaped, the two parties look likely to emerge from October's parliamentary election as the two largest parties in Saeima, though there is plenty of time for that to change.

However, speaking on  LTV's Morning Panorama news show, Brigmanis categorically ruled out any future ZZS/Harmony axis.

"That will not happen," Brigmanis said (four times), adding that the fact ZZS and Harmony had recently voted the same way on a number of issues in Saeima did not mean they were moving towards forming a government together.

In fact, the preferred option would be continuation of the existing three party coalition consisting of ZZS, the National Alliance and the Unity parties under current ZZS Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis, Brigmanis indicated, saying it was "working well" and the economy was in good shape.

Though Harmony, formerly known as Harmony Center, regularly fills one of the top two spots in election results, it has never been in government. Seen as a party representing the ethnic Russian population, a coalition of other parties has always coalesced to deny it control of the country.

Consequently Riga mayor Ušakovs is trying to rebrand Harmony as a "Social Democratic" party in the European style and recently announced that a long-standing cooperation agreement with the United Russia party of Russian President Vladimir Putin was no longer in force.


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