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Speculation continues on choice for next PM

Dec 18, 2013
From wire reports, RIGA

The Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Deputy State Secretary Peteris Vaivars, who is being mentioned as the top prime minister candidate, is a professional diplomat and an experienced person, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with LNT television on Dec. 18, reports LETA.

Asked whether Vaivars is the next PM candidate, Dombrovskis was evasive, emphasizing that political consultations continue and that there is much speculation. Further developments, however, will be determined by the results of these talks, explained the prime minister.

Unity is working on nominating its PM candidate by Jan. 7. It is not of principal importance whether this person is nominated before, or after Christmas, said Dombrovskis.

Vaivars will take part in a Unity Saeima Group session on Dec. 18. Dombrovskis did not reveal whether his party will also meet with other PM candidates.

Of the names being mentioned for prime minister, the frontrunner appears to be Foreign Ministry Deputy State Secretary Vaivars. The announcement could be made in the coming days, and most talk is focusing on Vaivars.

But never dismiss the opportunity for the Latvians to surprise, or shock.

Latvian residents, in a poll, believe that former Auditor General Inguna Sudraba and, incredibly, Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs would be the best PM candidates. This news came out in an article in the daily Neatkariga on Dec. 18, referring to a survey carried out by the market and public opinion research center SKDS.

Prime Minister Dombrovskis is the third most popular candidate. Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center), however, is more popular among non-citizens than the current prime minister.

The survey was carried out shortly before Dombrovkis’ resignation announcement. Sudraba’s decision to create a new national movement is not reflected in the survey. 22.9 percent of citizens believe that Sudraba would make a perfect prime minister. 40.2 percent say that Sudraba is a suitable candidate.

21.4 percent believe that Lembergs would the best prime minister, whereas 35.1 percent believe that Lembergs is a suitable candidate.

The respective percentages for Dombrovskis are 16 percent and 38.7 percent.

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