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Nicolas de Chamfort
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Opinion: government formation can be described with two words – haste and ambitions

Valdis Birkavs/cmf.ch
The current government formation process in Latvia can be described with two words – haste and ambitions, says ex-prime minister Valdis Birkavs.

He explains the haste is because parties are too quickly to decide to not participate in the process. Ambitions are present because there are many people who want to become Latvia’s prime minister. He adds that talks on coalition formation tend to last for more than six years in other countries.
 

Birkavs says parties whose positions do not coincide have to think about their chances of forming a government and a way to unite all participating parties.
 

He also says attempts to form a large coalition means people undermining the government will be on the inside, not the outside.
 

As positive examples, the ex-prime minister mentioned a government that has approximately 53 votes or a minority government instead. Birkavs recalled a government that had 48 votes. He explained the key for success back then was successful cooperation with the opposition. He believes people are not prepared to search for common ground – they only draw lines for the things they are interested in.
 

Birkavs believes Attīstībai/Par! and its prime minister candidate Artis Pabriks have the best chances of forming a government. The ex-prime minister says it would not be good for Pabriks’ political career to remain a minister. Birkavs is confident it is Pabriks’ best interest to become prime minister.
 

Looking into the possible development of the situation, Birkavs said there are four possible directions – the president nominates Aldis Gobzems (KPV LV), Artis Pabriks (AP), someone from the side, or the current government remains as a technical body with no party representatives – only industry specialists. The last option would be a very difficult solution, because such a government would have a hard time receiving support from the parliament on different solutions.
 

Birkavs said in conclusion that he is not certain politicians currently in power could consider the option of forming a minority government.
 

On 7 November, President Raimonds Vējonis nominated Jānis Bordāns (New Conservative Party). A week later, however, Bordāns announced that his plan to form a government from five parties is not possible to implement.
 

After Bordāns failure the president announced he would pick a new candidate after Latvia’s centenary.

BNN/LETA

20-11-2018
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