RIGA - Political parties have started informal discussions about candidates for the Bank of Latvia governor, as the current central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics' term of office will end on December 21, Latvijas Avize newspaper writes.
Several politicians believe that parties should reach agreement on who will be the next Bank of Latvia governor in October, while others say that Saeima must first appoint chairperson of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC).
Saeima Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Martins Bondars (For Development/For) says that further developments will depend on amendments to the Law on the Bank of Latvia, which Saeima has approved in the second reading. The amendments reduce the central bank governor's term of office from six to five years, and stipulate that a governor may not serve for more than two consecutive terms. The amendments also stipulate that the government has to submit amendments to Saeima by the end of June 2020, which provide for merging the FCMC with the Bank of Latvia.
Candidates for the Bank of Latvia governor can be nominated by no less than ten members of Saeima. Janis Urbanovics, head of Harmony's Saeima group, predicts that neither Saeima nor the ruling coalition will be able to agree on one candidate, although he believes that European Parliament member Roberts Zile (National Alliance) or Bank of Latvia council member Martins Kazaks have the best chance of getting nominated for the post.
According to the newspaper, other possible candidates include former FCMC chairman Uldis Cerps and World Bank's senior financial sector specialist Karlis Bauze.