Latvian parties agree line-up of new government

By bne IntelliNews February 2, 2016

The Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) has established its claim to be the lead partner in the new Latvian government, which the Baltic state’s political parties have been negotiating since December, local media reported on February 2.

ZZS’s Maris Kucinis has now completed the task of forging a new government line-up.  Previous coalition leader Unity has faced an intenal crisis since Prime minister Laimdota Straujuma stepped down in late 2015. The prospective new PM said the vote to approve the new government could take place on February 11, BNN reports.

Kucinis' success in securing the support of the centre-right Unity and the rightwing National Alliance elevates ZZS – a centrist party with populist appeal – to the position of leading political force in Latvia. That is despite being only third largest in the parliament, behind Unity and the pro-Russian Harmony party, which is traditionally ostracised by other leading forces.

If the coalition is finally built, ZZS will take the position of the prime minister as well as five ministries: finance, agriculture, defence, health, and transport. Unity will take over five portfolios, with the deputy prime minister also holding the ministry of economy. The junior partner National Alliance will have three ministers.

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