Latvia's president on Monday named US-born EU parliament member Krisjanis Karins as his candidate for prime minister, in a third attempt to solve the country's political deadlock after two previous nominees failed to form a government.
The NATO and EU member state has been gripped by political turmoil since October, when a general election saw seven political parties enter the 100-seat parliament but produced no clear winner.
After they each failed to muster a majority in the fractured parliament, Vejonis chose a different approach.
Instead of nominating a new candidate before Christmas, he left party leaders to meet among themselves and find a mutually acceptable candidate.
He represents the New Unity centre-right party, which is the smallest of all the parliamentary groups. It only has eight seats.
But Karins has the backing of several parties in addition to his own: the New Conservatives, the centre-right National Alliance and the liberal Development/FOR! He is also supported by some, but not all, of the lawmakers from the anti-establishment populist party KPV LV.
Karins will now hold talks among the parties to choose his cabinet candidates. The confirmation vote in parliament is expected later this month.
The Harmony party topped the October vote with 24 seats, but its pro-Russian stance put off potential coalition partners.
Harmony was followed by the KPV LV and the New Conservatives, which both scored 16 seats.
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