Coalition in Latvia to consist of three parties; Progressive Party rejects «younger brother» role

The next ruling coalition in Latvia will consist of three parties – New Unity (JV), Combined List (AS) and National Alliance (NA). The Progressive Party rejected the offer for a mutual cooperation agreement with JV.
After his meeting with President Egils Levits this Monday, 24 October, JV leader Krišjānis Kariņš told journalists that JV will offer AS and NA to sign a cooperation memorandum regarding the founding principles of the coalition. The forming coalition is prepared to offer Progressive Party one the ministries.
This would create a clear three-party coalition with a cooperation memorandum between Progressive Party and JV on working together in the 14th Saeima.
According to Kariņš, it would be better for the country if a four-party coalition is formed, because this would mean no political party would «feel comfortable» and accomplish their plans without discussions. Four partners would be forced to agree on the best possible solutions for the state. However, because a four-party coalition is not possible because of objections from AS and NA, JV has decided to propose the second best solution.

Kariņš also mentioned that NA and AS rejected Progressive Party’s membership in the coalition «without any valid reasons».

Progressive Party noted it will not sign a mutual cooperation memorandum with JV and will not accept a «younger brother» role in the government. This is why the party will work in the 14th Saeima opposition. The party’s leader Kaspars Briškens, commenting on the offer, said that his party’s position has remained unchanged from the start of coalition formation negotiations – to become a fully fledged coalition partner or a member of the opposition.

The politician said the Progressive Party plans to work as a «watchdog of democracy» in the opposition.

However, as President Egils Levits said after his meeting with Kariņš, this week three coalition partners – JV, AS and NA – will try to sign a cooperation memorandum to serve as the foundation of the new ruling coalition and the government’s programme for policies.
If it is signed by all three parties, intensive work will immediately commence on the government coalition, in which, according to the president, the government’s operational model will be outlined in specific projects and actions.

«The topic of an interim government is not on the table – we have to prepare for the next four years,»

said Levits, stressing that the government has to be stable and have a stable programme.
When asked if he is satisfied with the rate of coalition negotiations, Levits said yes, adding that the preparation of the government programme for the four years requires a great deal of work.
According to the president, the government formation negotiations will continue.