Latvian president nominates new prime minister

Latvia’s president, Raimonds Vējonis, has nominated Krišjānis Kariņš, the leader of the small New Unity party, to form a government. Mr Kariņš is the third nominee for prime minister since inconclusive elections were held at the beginning of October last year. Tow previous attempts by politicians from the New Conservative party and anti-establishment KPV LV party have failed to produce a workable coalition.

Born in the United States, Mr Kariņš – a former minister of the economy and MEP – now has 30 days to present a cabinet to parliament for a vote of confidence.

“The main question is sorting out the state’s financial sector,” Mr Kariņš said after the nomination. “Latvia’s upcoming assessment by Moneyval [the anti-money-­laundering watchdog of the Council of Europe] is really very serious.”

The largest party in the new Latvian parliament, Harmony, is close to Russia and all of Latvia’s centre and centre-right parties have vowed to ensure it does not form part of the new government.