Latvia First expects presidential candidate to support replacement of PM Karins-led government - Slesers

  • 2023-05-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - To Latvia First (LPV) party, it is important that the presidential candidate it supports also wanted Prime Minister Krisjanis Karis'  (New Unity) government to be replaced, LPV leader Ainars Slesers told LETA. 

If no new candidate emerges and Uldis Pilens, a businessman and presidential candidate nominated by the United List, confirms his support for the replacement of Latvia's current government, LPV will be ready to support him in the upcoming presidential election, Slesers said. The United List is one of the three partners in the Karins-led government coalition. 

However, if the United List believes that the current government must carry on with its work, the party must seek an agreement within the coalition on support for one candidate - Pilens or Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity). 

Slesers praised Pilens' experience as an entrepreneur, adding that the LPV group in the Saeima will want to hear Pilens' plan for Latvia's economic development. 

LPV members would also like to meet Rinkevics, the presidential candidate nominated by New Unity, and Elina Pinto, the public governance expert nominated by the Progressives whom Slesers does not know. The politician stressed that it was important that the candidates in the debates answered questions of public importance.

Slesers expects the presidential candidates to confirm their support for the replacement of the Karinis-led government. The best solution, according to Slesers, would be the situation where already before the presidential election, the United List, LPV, the Union of Greens and Farmers, the Progressives and the National Alliance signed an agreement on support for Pilens and a plan to form a new government after the elections. 

As reported, the parties represented in the Saeima have nominted three candidates for the post of president - the United List has nominated its founder Pilens, the Progressives have put forward governance expert Pinto, and New Unity have nominated Rinkevics. None of these candidates has a clear majority to win the elections yet.

Incumbent President Egils Levits, initially agreed to run for a second term but withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday. Levits, who was supported by the National Alliance and New Unity, failed to secure a majority of votes in the Saeima for his reelection.

The presidential elections will be held in the Saeima on May 31.