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Latvia's prime minister to step down as coalition government falls apart

Latvia’s center-right prime minister, Krisjanis Karins said Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, he will step down later this week.
Latvia’s center-right prime minister, Krisjanis Karins said Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, he will step down later this week. Copyright Mindaugas Kulbis/AP
Copyright Mindaugas Kulbis/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Krišjānis Kariņš will leave his post after failing to persuade his coalition government partners in favour of a cabinet reshuffle.

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Latvia's centre-right prime minister, Krišjānis Kariņš, has announced that he will step down later this week after the two other members of his three-party governing coalition rejected a cabinet reshuffle.

The prime minister, who belongs to the liberal-conservative New Unity party, had been pushing to widen the coalition to include the Alliance of Farmers and Greens and the Progressives, an idea that his coalition partners had rejected. 

On Wednesday last week, the two other coalition parties - the conservative National Alliance and the centrist electoral alliance United List - rejected Kariņš's nominations for three ministerial posts and refused to back several of his policy projects.

On Friday, Kariņš announced his intention to end the current grouping and form a new coalition government, with the plan of staying on as prime minister. But the two partners said it was against the Latvian Constitution for him to stay on, the Baltic News Service said.

On Monday, Kariņš said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the two other parties - the conservative National Alliance and the centrist electoral alliance United List - were "blocking work for welfare and economic growth."

He added that he had informed his party that he will submit his letter of resignation to the country's president Edgars Rinkevics on Thursday, and had invited the party to nominate a new candidate for prime minister.

The coalition government headed by Kariņš was formed after last October's general election with a deal signed in December. Together, the three parties had a total of 54 seats in the country's 100-seat parliament, the Saeima.

The next parliamentary election in Latvia is scheduled for 2026.

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