Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 150

The left-of-center National Conciliation Bloc (NCB) yesterday fell one vote short of obtaining parliamentary approval for a government headed by Zedonis Cevers of the Owners’ Democratic Party. The voting was 50 in favor, 45 against, and 5 abstentions; a minimum of 51 votes would have been required for approval. NCB normally counts on 52 votes in the 100-seat parliament; but two deputies of the Unity Party (the former reform communists) abstained in order to underscore their disapproval of a narrowly based government formed on the bloc principle–a feeling gaining ground in both blocs. Discussion is increasingly focusing on a coalition government comprised of elements from both sides. The strongest candidates to head it are said to be National Bank chairman Einars Repse, a champion of anti-inflationary policies; and former parliament chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs of Latvia’s Way. (11)

Last month, the right-of-center National Bloc-Latvia’s Way government list under Maris Grinblats, who was President Guntis Ulmanis’ first choice for prime minister, received only the bloc’s own 48 votes in parliament (with 51 against and one abstention). The hung parliament stems from the September 30-October 1 election. Prior to that, the right-of-center and rightist parties were predominant in parliament; and their government remains in office in a caretaker capacity until a new one is formed. The constitution does not prescribe deadlines for the president to nominate a new prime minister or for the nominee to present a government.

Economic Crisis Favors Communists in Ukraine’s By-Elections.