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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 15:28 GMT
Latvian to be EU's first Green PM
Einars Repse
Mr Repse had to resign after argument with coalition partners
Latvia's president has named a Green party lawmaker as the country's next prime minister - two weeks after his predecessor resigned.

Indulis Emsis, 52, will be Europe's first Green prime minister.

Mr Emsis now faces the difficult task of forming a stable government to lead Latvia into EU and Nato membership in a few weeks' time.

He says he hopes to form a broad coalition with all five centre-right parties in Latvia's divided parliament.

Coalition talks in the country had been going on since the 5 February resignation.

Emsis has all the right governmental principles, fighting corruption and working transparently
President Vaira Vike-Freiberga
But they hit a dead end because of continued squabbling among the leaders of the larger right-wing parties.

In the end, President Vaira-Vike Freiberga chose Mr Emsis, the deputy head of the smaller Greens and Farmers Union, as a compromise candidate.

"I have decided to nominate Indulis Emsis," President Vaira Vike-Freiberga told a news conference on Friday.

"Emsis has all the right governmental principles, fighting corruption and working transparently."

Two larger parties, the People's Party and the First Party, have indicated they are willing to join a coalition.

Mr Emsis will also need the support of another small party to form a majority government.

Authoritarian leadership

Correspondents say it is unlikely that ex-prime minister Einars Repse will join his former allies.

Mr Repse, a former central banker, came to power 15 months ago with promises to stamp out corruption and mismanagement.

But his government was weakened by allegations of mismanagement, and Mr Repse was accused of having an authoritarian style of leadership.

His coalition finally broke up after the First Party, whose head he had sacked as his deputy, pulled out.




SEE ALSO:
Latvia votes Yes to EU entry
21 Sep 03  |  Europe
Timeline: Latvia
22 Jun 03  |  Country profiles
Country profile: Latvia
09 Sep 03  |  Country profiles


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