Ušakovs: PLL, Harmony Center coalition feasible

Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs indicated that despite acrimonious rhetorical attacks betweent the two parties ahead of the fall election, a coalition between the pro-business Par labu Latviju and Harmony Centers is possible. Photo by Andris Krieviņš/Riga Municipal Government

RIGA — Should Harmony Center win Latvia’s fall parliamentary election as polls are indicating it might, who would it form a coalition with?

Given that no party is projected to come close to winning half the Saeima’s 100 seats, a coalition government is a forgone conclusion. During an interview Monday on the LNT morning news program, Harmony Center leader and Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs indicated that a Par labu Latviju and Harmony Center coalition is being considered despite pre-election policy disagreements and partisan rhetoric.

In a recent interview with the Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze newspaper, Šlesers accused Harmony Center of pandering to ethnic Russian interests only, echoing criticism other parties have made. The Unity coalition, which includes Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, has gone so far as to call them “pro-Kremlin,” highlighting Latvia’s latent ethnic tensions.

However on Monday Ušakovs seemed unperturbed by Šlesers’ statements, characterizing Šlesers’ past cooperation with Harmony Center in running the Riga municipal government as a model for a new Latvian government.

“I can see that both Ainārs Šlesers and Jānis Urbanovičs’ [Harmony Center’s candidate for prime minister] relationship is so positive, that some things said during the election campaign will not prevent Jānis Urbanovičs working together with Šlesers in a Jānis Urbanovičs-led government,” Ušakovs told LNT.

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