President of Latvia Egils Levits has asked current Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) to form a coalition government, following the weekend's general election in that country, public broadcaster LSM reports.
"I have asked Mr Karinš to start preliminary talks" Levits said, LSM's English-language portal reports, a move which had been expected.
President Levits did however stress that the invitation did not constitute a concrete nomination as yet, and followed talks with all seven parties elected to the 14th Saeima.
Either a tripartite or quadripartite coalition was viable, the head of state added, noting he expected the ensuing administration to put in place reforms, while incumbent Prime Minister Karinš voiced his readiness to carry on in the post, adding a broader coalition would help ensure stability for the coming four years.
Karinš has a week to sound out potential partners and then report back to the president, the latter says, while New Unity plans to start meetings with representatives of the United List, the National Alliance and the Progressives today, Tuesday, LSM reports.
The latest data says New Unity has likely won 26 mandates at the 100-seat Saeima, followed by The Greens and Farmers Union (16 seats each), United List (15 seats), National Alliance (13), For Stability (11), Progressives (10), and Latvia First (9) mandates.
Editor: Andrew Whyte