RIGA — Jānis Urbanovičs, Harmony Center’s prime minister candidate, downplayed suggestions that his party is planning on forming a government with the pro-business tandem For a Good Latvia (Par labu Latviju).
In an interview with the Latvijas Avīze newspaper Urbanovičs said that he did not see the possibility for a forming a government with Par labu Latviju at all, that Harmony Center has not made any power-sharing agreements with “not with Šlesers, nor with any other and it cannot be done,” referring to Riga Deputy Mayor Ainārs Šlesers of Par labu Latviju.
“Apparently it is the desire to influence the Harmony Center voters, ‘Here, it does not make sense to vote for Urbanovičs because he just would not be in power, so it’s better to just vote for Par labu Latviju,’” Urbanovičs said.
The media speculation isn’t completely unwarranted, though, as Harmony Center leader and Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs indicated last week that a coalition government between the two parties is feasible.
“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.
The contrasting statements from Ušakovs and Urbanovičs could represent a disagreement about the future direction of the party among its senior leadership. If elected Harmony Center would be the first pro-Russian integration party to head a Baltic state and the first left-wing government to head Latvia since it regained its independence from the U.S.S.R. two decades ago. Harmony Center currently rides atop opinion polls in a dead heat with the Unity coalition, which includes the party of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.
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