Maris Kučinskis nominated as Prime Minister
Latvian President Raymond Vējonis has nominated Maris Kučinskis of the Liepāja Party (a party affiliated to the Union of Greens and Farmers) as the country’s new Prime Minister and asked him to form a government. He replaces Laimdota Straujuma who resigned at the beginning of December after political disagreements between the partners of the coalition and complaints about her leadership.
The Straujuma government was made up of a coalition of the centre-right Unity Party (23 seats), centre-right Union of Greens and Farmers (21 seats) and the right-wing National Alliance (17 seats) in the 100 seat Saeima. The new prime minister, who still needs to be approved by parliament has indicated that he hopes to keep the coalition together when he forms the new Cabinet.
Maris Kučinskis, 54, graduated from the Latvian State University Faculty of Economics in 1988 and was elected to the Saeima in 2002. Prior to 2002 he had been a councillor on the Valmiera City Council. Having failed to be elected in 2011he worked for the Latvian Large Cities Association as an adviser but was elected once more in 2014. Between 2004 and 2006 he was Minister of Regional Development and Local Government.