Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis designated the leader of the New Conservative Party (JKP) Janis Bordans to form a new government on November 7.
The president’s decision follows elections in October that resulted in a fragmented parliament with six out of seven parties that won seats currently in coalition talks. Bordans now has an opportunity to lead a successful conclusion.
The seventh party is the centre-left group Harmony, which, despite winning the most votes, will most likely remain isolated by the others because its pro-Russia stance is a political liability in Latvia.
Bordans has two weeks to arrange a majority coalition in the 100-seat parliament. Following the election, parties in the talks have included the populist KPV party, the National Alliance, liberals from For Development/For! party, Greens and Farmers Union, and liberal-conservative New Unity.
Bordans told Latvian Radio on November 8, however, that he sees a five-party coalition as feasible, which would leave Harmony and Greens and Farmers Union in opposition. If ultimately agreed, the coalition would have a comfortable majority of 66 MPs in the parliament.
The PM-designate also said he was confident he could hammer out a deal within a week because talks have been underway for more than a month now.
“The president of Latvia expects a decisive and responsible action from Mr Bordans aimed at agreeing on a future coalition,” Vejonis said in a statement.
Vejonis also said he expected the new government to strengthen “security of our country and of the financial system and build a balanced state budget.”
He mentioned improving mechanisms for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing as particularly important.
Latvia has been in focus again as a money-laundering hub since early 2018, when its third-largest bank ABLV collapsed following allegations of money laundering and facilitating transactions linked to the North Korean missile programme.