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New PM candidate could be announced this week, says president

Dec 18, 2013
From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian President Andris Berzins has said a new prime ministerial candidate could be known by the end of the week.

The president told Latvian Radio that he has information on the names of specific candidates that parties are working with. '

'An announcement could be made at anytime, and maybe even this week,'' the president said.

Berzins said that he is working together with parties to form a new government. The president has also ''recommended'' surnames of possible PM candidates, so that parties could evaluate these candidates.

Candidates include Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andrejs Pildegovics. The president confirmed that he discussed Pildegovics' candidacy with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis right after he announced his resignation.

Others now include former Latvian ambassador to Japan Peteris Vaivars and Latvian Ambassador to NATO Maris Riekstins.

Berzins also admitted that other possible PM candidates include Unity politician Janis Reirs and the head of Unity's group at Saeima, Dzintars Zakis.

Following a second round of talks with parties represented in parliament last week, Berzins decided not to nominate any of the prime minister candidates chosen by the parties, including Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.

Berzins said he was not sure whether the parties candidates would be able to meet the criteria needed for prime minister.

"I am confident that the range of persons who could be nominated is much broader than the few mentioned thus far. There are many people who could become good heads of the government. I am waiting for the parties represented in Saeima to nominate "real" candidates," said the president.

Meanwhile, Unity has announced that the party will put forward a PM candidate by the president's set dead-line - January 7.

Berzins previously said that if parties do not put forward an acceptable PM candidate by January 7, he will nominate one himself.
 

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