Skeleton of Latvia’s new government coming along as parties prepare to take charge

This week marks the start of more intensive coalition formation negotiations. It is expected the partners of the coalition may reach an agreement on specific tasks and distribution of seats in the government and the parliament. The skeleton of the future government is slowly coming together, according to information about topics discussed so far.
New Unity (JV), Combined List (AS) and National Alliance (NA) are preparing to form a majority coalition in the 14th Saeima. The seats will be distributed in accordance with the principle of proportionality: JV received 26 seats, AS received 15 and NA received 13. Together they will have a coalition with 54 votes.
JV received almost as many seats as the two other parties together. Because JV received the majority of votes in elections, the party was entrusted with the formation of the government. This means the party cannot offer candidates for the position of Saeima speaker. Instead this seat will go to the party that received the second largest number of votes, which is AS in this case.
Together with the seat of the prime minister and the newly-formed Minister of Climate, there are 16 seats in the government that need to be distributed among coalition members. JV can expect seven seats, AS – five and NA – four seats in the government. In addition to that, members of the coalition are to discuss seats in Saeima committees and other posts.

Candidate names for those posts have yet to be discussed in detail. Multiple combinations are possible.

JV leader Krišjānis Kariņš may become PM again. There is little doubt that the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs may go to anyone other than Edgars Rinkēvičs. President Egils Levits is also in favour of the latter retaining his post.
The seat of the Minister of Finance will go to the party that holds the PM’s seat. Arvils Ašeradens is looking to be the most likely candidate. Evika Siliņa is another possible candidate. The latter is also mentioned as the possible candidate for the seat of Minister for the Interior.

One other potential candidate for the aforementioned post would be Ināra Mūrniece.

Because NA failed to secure enough votes, the party cannot pick candidates among its members for the post of Saeima speaker. This is why Mūrniece is suggested as a candidate to lead one of the ministries.
Raimods Bergmanis (AS) is eyed as the most likely candidate for the seat of Minister of Defence.
Previously it was mentioned that the seat of the Saeima speaker may go to Inese Lībiņa-Egnere. However, as mentioned above, the party that received the majority of votes is unable to propose candidates for this post.

This means it is more likely they may be entrusted with the Ministry of Justice.

Ex-prime minister Māris Kučinskis is also eyed as a potential candidate for the seat of Saeima speaker. Edvards Smiltēns is also a potential candidate despite his difficult relations with JV.
There was talk about Mūrniece potentially becoming the Minister of Defence and Bergmanis – the seat of the chairman of Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee. Kučinskis, on the other hand, is also considered for the post of Minister for the Interior.
One of NA’s leader, MEP Roberts Zīle was the one who suggested Mūrniece could become the head of one of the «force ministries».
The seat of the Minister of the Environment Protection and Regional Development may go to Chairman of Ādaži City Council Māris Sprindžuks.

Anda Čakša may become the next Minister of Welfare. Nauris Puntulis may remain the Minister of Culture.

JV could also receive the post of the Minister of Education and Science. Ašeradens is mentioned as a potential candidate since he was in charge of the Saeima Education, Culture and Science Committee during the 13th Saeima’s term.

None of the coalition partners have voiced any interest in the Ministry of Health so far.

The biggest uncertainty currently surrounds the economic bloc ministries. These include Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economics and the potentially new Ministry of Energy and Climate.
There are rumours that Kariņš no longer wants to work with NA representative and current Minister of Agriculture Kaspars Gerhards, who did not run in elections. JV previously mentioned that Jānis Reirsm who did not receive enough votes to enter the 14th Saeima, will not be able to remain as Minister of Finance.
If AS receives Ministry of Transport, the party may pick either Andris Kulbergs or Latvian Green Party leader Edgars Tavars as their candidates.
The Ministry of Economics may remain under Ilze Indriksone (NA), whereas the new Ministry of Energy and Climate may go to Jānis Patmalnieks (JV).
More on this topic: Coalition in Latvia to consist of three parties; Progressive Party rejects «younger brother» role