«Inclusion of oligarchs and pro-Russian political parties in the ruling coalition is incompatible with Latvia’s Euro-Atlantic course. This is why the future of the 14th Saeima depends on the ability of the core of the coalition with the Combined List and Progressive Party,» says researcher of Society for Openness – Delna Olafs Grigus.
Delna is generally happy with general turnout at the 14th Saeima elections and ongoing coalition talks, in which New Unity and the National Alliance are eyed as the core of the new coalition. However, Grigus stresses that the support parties with ties to oligarchs received during elections (Union of Greens and Farmers, Latvia in First Place and For Stability!) is worrying, especially considering that the leader of the Union of Greens and Farmers refused to condemn Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
«It is important for political parties forming the government share views on the most important topics – fights against corruption, national security, state defence and Euro-Atlantic integration,» said Grigus.
However, the researcher does not exclude the possibility that parties of the core of the coalition may find it difficult to cooperate.
According to Grigus, the Combined List is a new union of parties and it the ties that unite participating organisations, politicians and previous cooperation partners are unclear.
«Latvian Association of Regions political party had previously run in municipal elections together with both liberal For Latvia’s Development and conservative National Alliance. Just recently Latvian Green Party was a partner of the Union of Greens and Farmers. It is unlikely their ties have been cut completely since then.»
According to Gribus, objections in regards to Progressive Party’s possible participation allegedly because of ideological reasons are mostly coming from the National Alliance. This does put into question the cooperation the two parties have in Riga City Council and the National Alliance’s cooperation Attīstībai/Par!, which is no less liberal than the Progressive Party.
BNN previously reported that seven political parties were elected to the 14th Saeima: New Unity (26 seats), Union of Greens and Farmers (16 seats), Combined List (15 seats), National Alliance (13 seats), For Stability! (11 seats), Latvia in First Place (9 seats), and Progressive Party (10 seats).
Latvia’s President Egils Levits authorised New Unity leader Krišjānis Kariņš to commence coalition formation talks with other parties.
According to Kariņš, New Unity will speak only with parties whose geopolitical course is focused on Latvia’s remainder in the EU and NATO.
Also read: Saeima deputies to be carefully assessed by SAB for access to official secrets