Latvia's governing coalition names presidential candidate

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-16 01:18:17|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RIGA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Latvia's center-right government coalition on Monday decided to nominate Egils Levits, a judge at the European Court of Justice, as its candidate for the president of Latvia.

The agreement reached by the coalition partners means that the parliament's support for Levits is highly likely to be sufficient to elect him as the Baltic country's next president. Lawmakers are due to elect the next president of Latvia at the end of May or early June.

Levits ran for the Latvian presidency already in 2015 but was beaten by rival contender Raimonds Vejonis, backed by then ruling Greens and Farmers Union.

This year, Levits' chances of winning the election look pretty safe as his nomination, which was repeatedly proposed by the right-wing National Alliance, was soon endorsed by the center-right New Unity and liberal alliance For Development/For.

KPV LV party, which is a newcomer in the governing coalition and has some independently-minded MPs in its parliamentary faction, considered picking its own presidential candidate but eventually agreed to endorse Levits.

In the presidential elections, however, the KPV LV faction will let its members vote according to their conscience.

KPV LV leader Artuss Kaimins said on Monday his party would not put forward any other presidential candidate and called Levits a "perfect candidate".

With the rest of the government coalition behind Levits as the presidential candidate, he only needs two votes from KPV LV to secure the majority in parliament.

Meanwhile, opposition parties might still nominate some rival candidates. Incumbent President Raimonds Vejonis has not yet said whether he would seek a second term in office.

The opposition Green Party of Latvia said previously it was ready to back Vejonis but after the coalition's latest announcement the incumbent president's reelection prospects have diminished.