Kalvītis destined for second term as PM

Prime Minister Aigars Kalvītis seems assured of a second term after a Nov. 1 meeting with Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, during which they discussed current issues and the Oct. 7 parliamentary election results.

The president will officially nominate Kalvītis as the next prime minister when the 9th Saeima meets for the first time Nov. 7, the president’s press office in Rīga announced.

A coalition of conservative parties—Tautas partija (People’s Party), Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība (Union of Greens and Farmers), and the new alliance between Latvijas Pirmā partija (First Party of Latvia) and Latvijas Ceļš (Latvia’s Way)—will control 51 of the 100 seats in parliament, according to results of the Oct. 7 election.

“After my consultations with all the parties it is clear that, with these election results, for me as president the choice of Mr. Kalvītis as the new prime minister is completely logical, legal and just about inescapable,” Vīķe-Freiberga said in a prepared statement.

Kalvītis is a member of Tautas partija. He became prime minister in December 2004 and his current term expires with the close of the 8th Saeima.

Still unclear is whether and how the coalition might be enlarged.

Jaunais laiks (New Era), the conservative party that has seen its popularity plummet in recent months, will control another 18 seats in the new parliament and has been in talks with the other parties about rejoining the ruling coalition it abandoned in April. If it were to join, the coalition’s majority in the parliament would increase to 69 seats.

Jaunais laiks also would like to see its candidate, former Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete, become the next president when Vīķe-Freiberga’s second term expires next year.

Also represented in the 9th Saeima are Saskaņas Centrs (Harmony Centre), which will control 17 seats, and Par cilvēka tiesībam vienotā Latvijā (For Human Rights in United Latvia), which will have six. Both are viewed as left-leaning and friendly to Moscow.

The conservative Tēvzemei un Brīvībai / LNNK (For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK) will control eight seats and also has been mentioned as a potential partner in a conservative ruling coalition.

Kalvītis’ nomination will have to be approved by the Saeima.

Aigars Kalvītis

Aigars Kalvītis will be nominated by the president to return as Latvia’s prime minister.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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