The President of Latvia Edgars Rinkevics has asked current Welfare Minister Evika Silina, to proceed with the formation of a new government, the president announced after meeting with Silina at Riga Castle on late August 24, a statement from the presidency said.
Silina, the ruling New Unity nominee for the prime minister post, expressed her commitment to start negotiations with potential coalition partners – the United List, the National Alliance, the Progressives, and the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) – as soon as possible. The first meetings will take place separately, i.e. not in a roundtable format, eng.lsm.lv, the website of Latvian national broadcaster LSM, reported.
The prime ministerial nominee plans to set up the government by mid-September. She has previously said that negotiations on the formation of the next government cannot be dragged on any longer.
This follows the unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins after he failed to persuade his current coalition partners to welcome new parties into the government. He blamed coalition partners "blocking the work for prosperity and economic growth" for his decision, according to a social media post.
Karins, chairman of New Unity, had been trying for two months to widen his governing coalition, which also contains the radical rightwing National Alliance and the centre-right United List, but talks broke down earlier this month.
Support for a New Unity-led government has already been expressed by opposition factions – the Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF) and Progressives, who see a path into power for themselves.
The United List, part of the current coalition, continues to call for the preservation of the existing coalition model with the New Unity and the National Alliance, while no longer excluding a wider coalition as strictly as before.
The National Alliance also believes the departing government model to be the optimal one but excludes cooperation with the Progressives due to ideological differences, eng.lsm.lv said.