Saeima confirms new government

Latvia’s new center-right Cabinet of Ministers, led by incumbent Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis of the Vienotība (Unity) bloc, has been confirmed by the Saeima.

In a special meeting Nov. 3, the parliament approved the coalition government on a 63-35 vote. The centrist Vienotība will control seven ministerial portfolios, while the conservative Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība (Union of Greens and Farmers, or ZZS) will have six.

Voting for the new government were lawmakers from Vienotība and ZZS, who together control 55 seats in the 100-member Saeima, as well as eight deputies from the nationalist bloc, Visu Latvijai! – Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK. The nationalists backed the new government despite being shut out of it after being assured that they would be part of the Dombrovskis coalition.

Opposing the government were the center-left Saskaņas Centrs (Harmony Centre) and the conservative Par labu Latviju! (For a Good Latvia!) bloc. In early talks about the makeup of the new government, Saskaņas Centrs would have been included in a four-party coalition. However, those negotiations broke down before seeing any progress after Vienotība asked the pro-Russian party to acknowledge the Soviet occupation of Latvia and to guarantee the status of the Latvian language.

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