Potential coalition backs Riga mayor for PM

  • 2000-04-20
RIGA (BNS) - A decision of the New Party on April 17 to support candidacy of Riga Mayor Andris Berzins for the prime minister's post secures him support of the entire potential ruling coalition that will have 69 votes in the 100-member parliament.

New Party board chairman Ainars Slesers told reporters Berzins has showed himself as a good master of the city. In addition, he is supported by the public. Slesers believes Berzins is the best candidate Latvia's Way could nominate.

Berzins, meanwhile, told reporters it will be possible to discuss specific posts and the division of seats in the Cabinet only after the country's president names the prime minister.

"Everything is in the president's hands," said Berzins.

He did not rule out the next government could be formed by a coalition of four parties -the liberal New Party, the conservative People's Party, center right Latvia's Way and conservative for Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK.

Slesers said the New Party's board and faction would discuss Monday evening what posts the party could claim in the next government. As the new Cabinet is expected to be formed by the principle of proportionality, the New Party should hold two ministerial seats and one state minister's portfolio.

People's Party and Latvia's Way, which would form the core of the new government, said previously the government should be formed by May 4, the 10th anniversary since adoption of Latvia's declaration of independence.