Latvia set to return old coalition to power

Latvia's parliament is set to vote the previous four-party, centre-right coalition back into power on Thursday after a key opposition party declined to join, officials said.

 Latvia set to return old coalition to power
President Valdis Zatlers asked veteran politician Ivars Godmanis to form a new government after the old coalition quit following protests over its attempt to sack the anti-corruption bureau's head and the resignation of several ministers.

Zatlers had wanted the New Era opposition party to join the Baltic country's new government to help boost public trust, particularly at a time when authorities are having to battle against inflation running at more than 13 percent.

The news Web site Delfi quoted Godmani as saying after a meeting with Zatlers early on Thursday that New Era had not changed its stance on refusing to join. The president asked Godmani last week to try to bring New Era into government.

No further details on the end of the coalition negotiations were immediately available, but New Era had said it wanted talks about concrete legislative measures before joining.

The parliamentary vote is due to take place at midday (1000 GMT) and the four parties set to go back into government have 55 of the 100 seats in the chamber.

Zatlers said Godmanis, 56, who led Latvia during its independence drive from the former Soviet Union, had tried his best to form a five-party coalition with New Era.

"But a full stop has to be put at some time to all discussions," Zatlers told Latvian public radio.

Although Latvia was set to get its old coalition government back, it will have a slightly different ministerial line-up.

One change is that former Defence Minister Atis Slakteris, from the largest coalition partner, the People's Party, will become finance minister.

The other three coalition parties are the Union of Greens and Farmers, Latvia's First/Latvia's Way Party and For Fatherland and Freedom.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2007, 16:52
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