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Latvian president nominates US-born MEP Karins for PM

AFP  |  Riga 

Latvia's on Monday named US-born EU parliament member 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 saw seven political parties enter the 100-seat parliament but produced no clear winner.

"I met with several parties in parliament that stated their intention to support Mr Karins as the next prime minister," told reporters.

Lawyers and -- of the New Conservatives and populist respectively -- were the president's first two nominees for

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.

A former economy and MEP since 2009, the 54-year-old Karins was born in the and holds dual citizenship.

He represents the 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 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 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.

Centre-right coalitions formed by various parties have governed since it broke free from the in 1991.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 07 2019. 19:50 IST