New Latvian coalition ministerial posts announced
Latvia's new tripartite coalition government is taking shape, following two months of negotiations.
The parties who will form up the new coalition, New Unity (JV), National Alliance (NA) and the United Latvian List (LAS), have now drawn up their ministerial posts, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reports on its English-language portal.
Several ministers from the last administration are returning, including Edgars Rinkevičs as foreign minister, though Artis Pabriks is no longer defense minister and has been replaced by Inara Murniece
Unlike in Estonia's current coalition, where participating parties receive an equal amount of ministerial posts regardless of the number of Riigikogu seats they hold, in Latvia, JV, with the larger number of seats, has six posts, plus the prime minister, Krišjanis Karinš , whereas NA and LAS hold four each.
JV and NA announced their candidates earlier on Tuesday, LAS followed later in the day.
The candidates are as follows:
JV (Prime Minister: Krišjanis Karinš)
Finance Minister: Arvils Ašeradens.
Foreign Minister: Edgars Rinkevičs (retaining the position he held in the last administration).
Justice Minister: Inese Libina-Egnere.
Education Minister: Anda Čakša.
Climate and Energy Minister (a newly created portfolio): Raimonds Čudars.
Welfare Minister: Evika Silina.
Economics Minister: Ilze Indriksone (retaining the post).
Culture: Nauris Puntulis (also returning).
Defense Minister: Inara Murniece (a former Speaker of the Saeima, who has also worked for the National Security Council and the National Security Committee).
Transport Minister: Janis Vitenbergs (former Economics Minister).
NA announced their ministerial candidates slightly earlier than JV.
Health Minister: Liga Mengelson (currently head of the Latvian employers' confederation).
Agriculture Minister: Didzis Šmits (a former MP).
Minister of the Interior: Maris Kucinskis.
Environment Minister: Maris Sprindžuks.
JV, NA and LAS between them won 54 of the 100 seats at the Saeima elections in October.
President of Latvia Egils Levits signed an order late last month which gave the responsibility for formation of the new coalition to returning Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš.
JV won the highest share of the votes (18.97 percent) in the general election in early October, and initially met with representatives of the Progressives, who ended up not entering office, as well as NA and LAS.
The proposed coalition will still need to receive presidential approval and be sworn in. President Levits had been calling for the process to move forward, and had stated in October that the coalition should be at least tripartite.
Estonia goes to the polls on March 5, 2023.
Editor's note: This article was updated to include the LAS list of ministerial candidates.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte